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 are human beings and our human nature sometimes catches up with us. Some of us expect fast results. This is nothing new and it shouldn’t be anything surprising Allah describes the human nature that you and I and everyone else has by saying
خُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ مِنْ عَجَلٍ
The human social being-you and I- were created with a propensity to have things done fast… (Surah Al Ambiya’ verse 37)
Some of us have spent years and decades and we figure “Ah we don’t see the results that we expect” and this is also natural for Allah tells us to pre-empt this condition or alleviate its consequences
وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
… and he who places his confidence and expectations of the results in Allah then Allah is enough for him or her. (Surah At Talaaq verse 3)
We and others have probably flooded your senses with the history of Prophets. We are or should be familiar with the sustained (and) merrifying (and) extended struggle of all of Allah’s Prophets. But there is an area that many of us are not very well familiarised with. There are individuals in the Qur’an that are obscure. They are not Prophets by name. We’re not speaking about the twenty-five known Prophets that dwell in our memory. No. These are unknowns, meaning we can’t identify them by name but they are mentioned in Allah’s eternal words. One of the Surahs/ayahs, (we hope this can occupy a place in your memory so (that the) next time when you recite/listen to these ayaat being recited to you will remember these unknowns), are recited when a person passes away. You will hear them either in/after the funeral/janaza/at the grave site/residence of the person who passed away. Of course, we’re not going to read the whole Surah, i.e. Surah Yasin, but we will read the relevant ayahs. This is probably the hundredth time you’ve heard this ayah if you have a good many years behind you in life. What goes unnoticed is that the individuals that Allah is speaking about in these ayaat have no names. First, let’s explain what these ayaat are saying
وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا أَصْحَابَ الْقَرْيَةِ
Present to them the parable or the example of the inhabitants of those who belong to an urban place… (Surah Yasin verse 13)
It could have been a city, a society, a civilisation. We don’t know what degree of urban development that particular place has. All we know it is an urban or societal confront. So bring this fact to their attention; just like we’re bringing this to our attention here.
إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ
This urban set up was visited by two… (Surah Yasin verse 14)
Allah sent them some nameless individuals, just like you and I. We’re not Prophets, Messengers, Apostles, Emissaries directly from Allah. Just like they were unknowns we are unknowns. What happens to the people there all around? Allah says
إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ
We sent to them two… (Surah Yasin verse 14)
Alright- who are these two? We don’t know. Allah doesn’t tell us who they were. So as far as we’re concerned they are nameless/unknown/have no fame. They are not even mentioned by name.
… this urban society with its structure, its institutions, its leadership and its government with whatever organises and runs it said to them “Ah you are liars”… (Surah Yasin verse 14)
Allah sends people and then the power structure within which these people are located points at them and says “who are you?” What you are saying is false. You are not saying the truth. Then Allah says
… we reinforced those two who are unknown with a third who is also unknown… (Surah Yasin verse 14)
We don’t know who the third was. Allah didn’t tell us who he was. That’s why you should never underestimate yourself. Allah has these three in His eternal record/this Qur’an even though we don’t know who they were.
فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ
… they said we have been sent to you… (Surah Yasin verse 14)
Who were they speaking to? They were speaking to the power structure, the power institutions of society- the establishment of that urban circle. It takes some guts to make some public statement like that to the powers that be. (Take a) look at today’s world- not everyone is capable of doing that! What they do with Allah’s message is they constrict it to their own little circle. Dare they go public with it like we are reading it here in the Qur’an! Remember we are reading about a power issue when we are reciting Surah Yasin. When someone passes away that is a numerical decrease in our power presence here but how many of us have these meanings circulate in our minds when we read these ayaat? What does this power structure tell these unknowns? Remember, these are not Prophets. We have to say this many times- these are not Prophets neither are they Messengers. How does the power structure speak to them? Just like it speaks to us today! Nothing has changed. The language of power have remained the same throughout history.
قَالُوا مَا أَنتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا
They said to them “you! Who are you? You’re just a human just like we are! Who do you think you are?”… (Surah Yasin verse 15)
(Do) you see the power structure outside sends you a message everyday from different directions- “who do you think you are?”
مَا أَنتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا
… you’re nothing but flesh and bones just like we are… (Surah Yasin verse 15)
And that’s the accepted; but what happens when you begin to tell yourself the same thing? “Who am I? I can’t do anything!” Here we have a problem because what you are saying to yourself is what your power enemies are saying to you! And if what is coming to you from the outside agrees with what you are telling yourself inside we begin to have a problem. Allah wanted us to conquer this problem before it emerges. … so this power centre/structure out there tells us
وَمَا أَنزَلَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ مِن شَيْءٍ
… “and the Mercy giver has not revealed to you anything”… (Surah Yasin verse 15)
How is that? Who are you to tell us this type of thing? People who have power go even further.
إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا تَكْذِبُونَ
… they say “you are lying.” (Surah Yasin verse 15)
There we have it. We can see ourselves in the images of these unknowns. We have the world around us saying to us “all of this is not accurate, not right, not correct”, in other words “it’s a lie.” They come at us with sharp and direct words and indirect words and mild language- they use everything because the result is they want to erode the confidence that comes with belonging to Allah even though we may be unknown. So what do you say after both sides express their selves? Those unknowns then and the unknowns today say
قَالُوا رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ
Our Sustainer knows very well that we have been sent to express the truth to you. (Surah Yasin verse 16)
This takes people who are not blinded by this power around. The unfortunate condition that we are in now (is that) we have Muslims who are blinded by this power. They retire into their own selves. They no longer have the confidence/courage just to express the truth- which is the coming words. That’s all you have to do. You have to express the evident communication of truth that you are in possession of. Allah has given you the words of truth
وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
And the only thing that is expected of us is to express it. (Surah Yasin verse 17)
Why don’t we have people who are able to express that? We’re speaking about these Muslims who are schooled. Schooled! They got their degrees studying their Islam. They went to Hawzahs, Universities, Islamic programs and curriculums. They spent a good part of their life stuffing their minds with Islamic information but when the time comes to express it they say “no there is a power structure out there” and they generate all types of excuses and runaway arguments not to express this vital necessary truth. These are Allah’s words describing who we are.
وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
The only obligation we have is to express the evidence that comes to us from Allah. (Surah Yasin verse 17)
The discussion doesn’t end here. The power structure, despots, tyrants, oppressors, kings, presidents talk back. The power structures around are not short on words.
قَالُوا إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُوا لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُم مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Their response: we’ve turn pessimists concerning you. If you don’t stop we will pelt or strike back at you with our force or what we have and you will endure from us painful torment. (Surah Yasin verse 18)
This is how Governments and establishments threaten people who are just courageous enough just to express the truth. That’s all it takes. It takes the courage- that doesn’t exist- to bring this courage back and just say the truth. When we begin to say the truth then we can expect to listen to the narrative that we were just uncovering here concerning unknowns. There is a big lesson in this. Allah was not speaking about Prophets. What He was speaking about was in- the past tense- individuals like you/me. They don’t have the official title of Prophets. They don’t have the honorific description of Messenger. No. (They’re) just people who are in possession of the truth and just want to speak the truth. Don’t get carried away because here we have the voices of Shayateen Al Ins wa Al Jinn who want to come and say “oh when Muslims speak the truth they speak it aggressively and warlike. They are bloody when they express themselves.” Where did this come from? If we speak Allah’s words with confidence and courage it’s different from speaking with the intention to pull the trigger/to go out and do awful things, etc. These are two different things. We have two different issues. Don’t get drawn into their description of who you are. There are several ayaat in the Qur’an- and truth be said, there’s no time to delve into the details of the other ayaat the same way we spoke about the details of these ayaat in Surah Yasin but let us take a sentence or two from these other ayaat to reinforce the point: don’t let your human nature get to you. Don’t succumb to the temptation of stepping outside of your God-given responsibilities. This ayah is the ninth ayah from Surah Ibrahim and the first sentence in this ayah
أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَبَأُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَعَادٍ وَثَمُودَ ۛ وَالَّذِينَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ
Hasn’t the news of the people of Nuh and Aad and Thamud and those who dwelled and lived before them come to you? (Surah Ibrahim verse 9)
Then Allah says
لَا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلَّا اللَّهُ
… they were so numerous only Allah has kept count of them… (Surah Ibrahim verse 9)
Meaning what we know of this history is only scratching at the surface of this history. There’s much more to this history than what was brought to our attention and that much more is in Allah’s knowledge. So even though we may sometimes think of ourselves as “hey look- we are limited individuals, our potentials are not that great” and some of us begin to lose hope Allah is reminding us here (that) even though you might be thinking of yourselves at times of weakness like that do not succumb to that feeling. Knowing that in previous history much more experience has gone with this effort than has come to your attention. So not only are the unknowns in history brought to our attention, the count of those societies who had failed in history is so much that we don’t even have a registry of all of them and they failed because they’ve gone against Allah.
Which brings us to the behaviour of those who are at the peaks of power. We know the narrative of Musa (alaihi as salaam) and Phiraun- we hope everyone knows that. When Phiraun eventually became fed up with Musa and had enough of him, what did he say? In the words of the Qur’an
وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ذَرُونِي أَقْتُلْ مُوسَىٰ وَلْيَدْعُ رَبَّهُ
Phiraun said leave me alone, let me kill Musa; let him implore his Sustainer or call upon his Lord... (Surah Ghafir verse 26)
You see- this is the natural and correct way that things should be. Musa was expressing Allah’s words as it should be expressed and Pharaoh- the representative of a super power- was expressing the logic of worldly or Shaytani power exactly the way it should be expressed. There is no foggy area, no smoke screens, no ambiguity between the two in this relationship. Phiraun had a logic to him. He didn’t desire to kill Musa because he was sadistic and gets a kick out of killing someone. No. That wasn’t his character. He explains why he wants to kill Musa. Phiraun says- like those who are at the top or executive power structures of our time
إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُبَدِّلَ دِينَكُمْ
… I fear that Musa will change your Deen… (Surah Ghafir verse 26)
Deen here doesn’t mean here the form of worship. Deen here means the remaking of the channels of efforts of life itself.
إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُبَدِّلَ دِينَكُمْ أَوْ أَن يُظْهِرَ فِي الْأَرْضِ الْفَسَادَ
… Phiraun was afraid that Musa was going to bring about popular change that is going to put an end to the deen of the Pharaoh or that eventually the way Musa is pursuing things there is going to be instability and decadence in the affair of the world. (Surah Ghafir verse 26)
OK- you’re with me up until here insha’Allah. Then, for those of you who don’t think much of yourselves
رَجُلٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ مِّنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ
A committed Muslim from the inner circle of Phiraun… (Surah Ghafir verse 28)
Once again, Allah doesn’t tell us who this person is. We have no name or description of who this person is. All we know is
… who conceals his iman… (Surah Ghafir verse 28)
Obviously when someone is of that inner circle or position he had to hide his commitment but when the time came he spoke out and he asked and objected.
أَتَقْتُلُونَ رَجُلًا أَن يَقُولَ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ
… he says to Pharaoh and his advisers or consultants or inner circle “do you mean to tell me you are going to kill a person for what? Because he says “my Sustainer is Allah?”… (Surah Ghafir verse 28)
Once again- brothers and sisters- there is a lot of meanings in this. There is much more that can be said about this but what concerns us here is an unknown. We don’t know who this person is. Allah knew who he was and Allah brought him to our attention and to the attention of the rest of the world until there is no longer any life and intelligence in the world. Let us say to you- brothers and sisters, committed Muslims- you and everyone has the right to experience their human nature, but after knowing and being with Allah we no longer have the excuse of surrendering to the weakness of human nature.
In the world of experience and knowledge, (some would say “in the world of Aarifeen), two devout Muslims come to each other and open up their hearts. One says to the other “aren’t you anxious? Don’t you yearn to be with Allah? Don’t you have shawk in yourself for Allah?” And the experience and knowledgeable answer was “you have a yearning for someone who is absent and Allah is not absent, Allah is always present.”
Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…
We know that those who are doing the will of Allah almost always have limited physical and financial powers- that is a given. We know that those who speak against Allah, His Prophets and His dedicated servants have it all, (as it were). We live in a real world. We can’t say in the past week or month there’s been a lot said from our sources about Islam, the Qur’an, the Prophet. Certainly all of this was expressed and we are living in it. We know that just talking about this in the public by the mainstream media is a step to do something more violent in the future. If they begin to speak about burning copies of the sacred Scripture in public and they begin to amplify that with their cameras, talk shows, commentaries, editorials then we can expect (that) if they get away with burning the Qur’an today, we can expect them to torch the House of Allah tomorrow. First they come to the Qur’an and if they burn it and Muslims look the other way, then it is only a matter of time before they come to the Masjid and burn it. And if Muslims continue to lack the confidence and courage to speak the words of Allah of justice, fairness and equality when it is required to say it then after that they will come to Muslim life and kill and burn it. What else do you want after that? This society is supposed to be a society of open-mindedness, togetherness, co-existence, neighbourly relations and all of this stuff but when it comes to the Muslims here why is this society beginning to show that it can no longer live with Muslims as dormant, disengaged and passive as Muslims have been all along! (If) you look around (you’d) say “what did we do? Why is this coming at us?” Muslims are probably the most law observant citizens in this land. There are no statistics, surveys or polls about this but if there were we can say with a healthy degree of confidence that Muslims would rank very high on the civil, moral and legal scale of society- so why do they want to come and burn the Qur’an? And then from there burn our lives? What is this? What is happening? With the inability to think with the guidance and information that Allah has given us consider yourselves assistants to those who are coming for the committed Muslims- be they in this land or thousands of miles away in the many other lands of the world. We can’t let this go by. We want to draw your attention to the rulers in Arabian countries- (as far as we know and we read quite a bit about this subject), not one of them has expressed themselves in public to denounce such assaults on Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet and Allah where-by we’ve heard protests. Other peoples in other lands and areas of the world have come out against this but why haven’t we heard from these rulers who are right now busy obeying the orders from Washington to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the terms of Ash Shaytaan- that is what they are pre-occupied with and this issue of the Qur’an and the media doesn’t even appear on their radars and this speaks volumes.