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,
As much as is said from the mimbar, it appears that what is said from the anti-mimbar is louder and more pronounced; but with Allah’s guidance and assistance we will continue to do and to say what has to be said and what has to be done and Allah in His own way will amplify the truth and He will put an end to the lies and towards this end we will press on with our duty to expose the grand lies about we the Muslims that are being systematically presented to the world and to public opinion. We continue to say that we are not terrorists and we are not jelly beans. What meant by the loud propaganda in our time is to convince Muslims and non- Muslims alike that Islam is a religion of terror. One of the ayaat that some of them cite to prove this point is an ayah in surah Al Baqarah. How does this ayah work itself into English? The ayah goes something like this
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ ۖ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ
And fight against them to eliminate the possibility of fitnah and so that Deen is finally Allah’s and if the cease then aggression is only due against Adh Dhaalimin. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 193)
Pundits, loud mouths, public speakers, so called experts and scholars- all of them on one occasion or the other are prone to cite this ayah and then extract from that and say to you and to me and to their listeners and viewers “listen- look at the Muslims. This is what is said in their holy book. See what their God is telling them. Fight against them... The order here is to the Muslims and therefore Muslims are by their own religious definition terrorists.” That’s how they come across and many Muslims, (and we don’t think that we’re exaggerating here), when they are subjected to this type of presentation in a systematic way for a long period of time grow defensive in themselves. They don’t have the independent capability of thinking through who they are and this is mental ammunition for you to be able to respond to this type of accusation. OK- how do we respond?
First of all we take a look at the ayah in its context. You can’t just pluck out one ayah like that, just like they do, and then use it as cannon fodder to malign Islam and the Qur’an and the Prophet and therefore we in that context. This ayah falls in a sequence of ayaat in Surah Al Baqarah 190 to 193 and this is how these ayaat begin.
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ
You fight in a course to Allah against those who fight you... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 190),
Muslims are not going around picking fights, Muslims are not traversing territories igniting wars. Allah says here- and this is kept out of the Imperialist-Zionist propaganda and we don’t think it is coincidental that it is also kept out of Masajid and Islamic lectures and presentations- so listen to Allah, dear brothers and sisters, when He speaks.
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
And fight to a course to Allah those who are fighting against you and don’t launch into aggression (or) don’t initiate aggression for Allah does not favor aggressors. When war is engaged... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 190-191)
War here is launched by those who aggress against committed Muslims, (i.e.) when this war now is in process one element of it is hot pursuit. Muslims don’t go into war half heartedly although fighting may be a reluctant responsibility as per the other ayah.
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ
Fighting has been assigned to you although it may be against the grain of your nature... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 216)
وَأَخْرِجُوهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ
... and you expel them from the areas they expel you from... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 191)
In other wards you have a God-given right to remain in your God-given countries, lands, territories and homes and if they as a result of their warfare displace you, you are given this Godly permission to displace them from the areas that were your original homes and your original homelands. In this context Allah is saying
وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْل
... sedition is more serious than killing... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 191)
Which means if the upper hand is left for these aggressors and they call the shots and they have it their way then sedition is going to afflict us, the Muslims, if we are incapable for standing up for our rights.
وَلَا تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ ۖ فَإِن قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ
فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
... and don’t engage in fighting them at Al Masjid Al Haram until they engage you in fighting there and if they begin a war with you then you war back (or) you fight back and in such a manner comes the recompense of those who are in denial of Allah’s power and authority. If they cease their hostilities (and) their warmongering then indeed Allah is ever forgiving, very merciful. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 191-192)
Now we come to this ayah that we came to in the very beginning.
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ ۖ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ
You engage them in war to exclude the possibility of fitnah and deen becomes exclusively Allah’s; if they put down their arms (or) if they cease fighting then aggression is due only upon those who are Dhaalims. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 193)
Furthermore, to understand this ayah we have to understand the circumstances in which it was first revealed. This ayah was revealed in the seventh year of the Hijra- that was one year after Al Hudaybiyah. If you can recall some of the details of Al Hudaybiyah, the agreement between the Mu’minin of Al Madinah and the Mushrikin of Makkah stipulated that in the following year the Muslims have a right to come into Makkah to perform their Umrah. So that year came- the seventh year, one year after Hudaybiyah was now upon the Muslims and they were preparing themselves to go to Makkah to perform what they called umrah al qada’ (i.e.) the make-up umrah they had to perform to make up for the previous year that they couldn’t perform their umrah which was the year of Al Hudaybiyah. One of the items of the agreement of Al Hudaybiyah is that the Muslims perform this umrah the following year, (i.e.) the umrah that we are speaking about now, without being armed i.e. they come to Makkah only carrying with them what an average traveler would carry which would be in today’s language light arms- something like a dagger or a similar side weapon but they can’t be armed. This was the agreement that both sides agreed upon in working out the Sulh Al Hudaybiyah but the Muslims were not sure that the Mushriks were going to honor this agreement. The Prophet wasn’t sure that the Mushrikin of Makkah are going to honor this agreement. They had suspicion that if they go to perform the umrah in Makkah the Mushrikin are going to break (or) are going to violate this agreement and they’re going to attack peaceful Muslims who are coming to perform the umrah so as a matter of precaution the ayaat 190 to 193 that we just mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah were revealed to, first of all, give (or) to sustain the alert that the Muslims had (i.e.) their caution that they are going to be fooled by the Mushrikin and probably massacred in Makkah. So in order for that not to happen these ayaat were revealed to substantiate the right of self-defense for Muslims who maybe attacked. So what the Prophet of Allah did was he prepared one hundred fighters who were thoroughly equipped with all means of warfare to be at a short distance from Makkah just in case the Mushrikin violated their own agreement of Al Hudaybiyah. (It is) within these dynamics that these ayaat were revealed. If you understood these circumstances and you understood that there was an ongoing state of war between Al Madinah and Makkah then you can understand that these ayaat are not instigating Muslims to pick a war with the Kafir other. What these ayaat were doing were preparing the Muslims to go to war just in case these Kafir others declared war and waged a war against committed Muslims.
Then we go from an ayah to a hadith. There is a hadith that is mentioned in almost all the books of hadith. First of all it is narrated by Abu Hurayrah and during the time of the Umawi regime there were many ahadith that were attributed to Abu Hurayrah. We haven’t done any investigation or research on this particular hadith but this should be mentioned as an introductory to try to undo the unnecessary damage that comes from misunderstanding the details of this hadith. So what does the hadith say? It is reported, (as we said in many of the hadith books), that the Prophet says and this is another type, just like an ayah that trouble-makers take from the Qur’an, that they want to use to prove to the world that Muslims are terrorists and in the same fashion they take a hadith and say “look- this hadith is in all the hadith books and look at what their Prophet is telling them.” So what does the hadith say? I was ordered... Obviously, the Prophet is saying I was ordered by Allah to fight people until they say Laa ilah illa Allah. If they say it then their lives and their properties become sacrosanct the exception being when they are due to sacrifice or to spend otherwise no one is going to tell them or order them to spend of their lives and of their possessions and their account is with Allah. So people take this hadith- not average people, they claim to be scholars and experts and opinion makers and politicians and military personnel and the rest of the influential types in society and they say “take a look at the Muslims. Look at what they say.” First of all, we should mention that an naas here, just like many words in the Qur’an and in the sunnah are context defined, (i.e.) they are defined by the context that they are mentioned in. Upon a closer comparison of this hadith to other hadiths we will find that there are other hadiths that mention instead of using the word naas, I was ordered to fight against people... that I was ordered to fight against Al Mushrikin... and there’s another hadith that says I was ordered to fight against Arabians. Of course, no one is interested in being accurate about these ahadith in context! Trouble makers are not interested in that. So back to this hadith- I was ordered to fight against people... If we were to find the word naas in the Qur’an, there’s an ayah- the ayah is speaking about committed Muslims.
الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ
They are told by the public that right now there is a public or a popular or a massive people’s campaign against you, therefore you should be in awe of them... (Surah Aal Imran verse 173)
The result is
... it only multiplied their commitment (or) it only reinforced their commitment... (Surah Aal Imran verse 173)
So an naas, as some superficial speakers would want you and I to believe, is not just the generic people out there. We’re not supposed to fight anyone who doesn’t fight us. You can’t take ayaat and ahadith and say “look at this- they just want to fight, they just want to go to war.” No! That’s not the case. We are ordered to fight and go to war with those who fight and go to war against us. It seems like the world doesn’t want to leave us alone. They just don’t want to leave us alone! There’s been some scholarly opinion (or) give and take about this. This is not the time to go into some of the fine points of all of this- suffice it to say that there’s an element of aggression that dwell in structures of superpowers that want to pick a fight with what appears to them to be powerless or power-lacking Muslims. This is a fact of life. (Take a) look at today’s world- from what we have, who goes picking wars? (Do) Muslims go and pick a war with others? Where do you find that? You will find it where there is this same Zionist-Imperialist involvement. No longer is it propaganda and a mental presentation- no! Now it is financing and it is indoctrinating Muslims to pick war with non-aggressors. It is a fact of our lives and it is also a fact of previous generations and previous societies. This always exists. It is part of the power play that no one wants to speak about in Masajid or in Islamic conferences and as long as we don’t approach this issue with the information and the guidance that comes to us from Allah and his Prophet we will continue to be exposed to the mis-information and to the calculated presentations that will fill the public mind when we are incapable of expressing whom we are (and) explaining what our Qur’an and what our Prophet say. When we are absent from that explanation role than there will be others who will come and fill in the vacuum and poison the public mind with wars of aggression where we are supposed to assume our responsibilities neither as terrorists (nor as wimps). See- this has been going on. When this Zionist-Imperialist mouth-piece inundates the world with the accusation that “ Muslims are terrorists”, Muslims react by appearing that they are wimps! “Oh no- don’t say that. Don’t accuse us. We are not this. We do not fight, we don’t do anything.” Some of them just don’t want to speak about this subject at all and then on the other hand when the same Imperialist-Zionist mouths say “look at Muslims- Muslims are wimps! They can’t even protect themselves.” Then what we have? Once again is a false reaction saying no! We have become this and then they present themselves as the terrorist that they were cornered into reacting to what was said about them. This has been the interplay from wimp to terrorist and then from terrorist to wimp! There hasn’t been the confident, the balanced, the independent Muslim in all of this to state the facts as they are in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah.
Dear brothers, dear sisters, committed Muslims…
In light of what is happening in today’s world there are two issues that we want to try to explain in light of the Islamic, Qur’anic, Prophetic knowledge that is in our possession very briefly. The first subject is an attitude of intolerance that becomes a behavior of fanaticism that wants to blaspheme the other Muslim, in other words what is becoming more noticeable as the years go by is the propensity by some Muslims to point the finger of kufr against other Muslims. This we have witnessed in the past couple of weeks. Some of you may have known that I was in Indonesia and this is a totally home grown issue. It has no outside interference. There’s that argument that “we don’t want Sunnis coming to Shi’i territories and proselytizing” and “we don’t want Shi’is to go to Sunni areas to proselytize.” Well in this particular incident it has nothing to do with outsiders coming to some country and convincing some Muslims to follow another school of thought. It has nothing to do with that. This was totally a local affair and some Muslims felt they wanted to become Shi’is. So what’s the big deal?! I still can’t understand? We went and met some Ulema’. They did not mention one ayah and they did not mention one hadith but they danced around the word kufr. They never used that word per se but they used every other word at their disposal to deliver the same meaning. I heard this with my own ears- one of them went as far as saying “this local Shi’i community even though it’s just a few hundred people is similar to gangrene in the body of a diabetic. If a limb in that body is going to poison the rest of the body and bring the body to death it is better to amputate and cut off that malignant part of the body” as if Shi’is is a malignant part of Muslims and it becomes permissible to finish them off so that the rest of society can live on. How diseased can a person become?! I still can’t understand?! You know that we’ve been dealing with this issue in-and-out for so many years not only in khutbahs but also in our practical lives and we still are incapable of narrowing the distance between who’s a Sunni and who’s a Shi’i. There are Shi’i fanatics and there are Sunni fanatics on both sides and they want to intensify these differences and both of them are supported and financed by the same sources to such an extent that it becomes easy now and it becomes fashionable whenever you meet a non- Muslim- whether it is an official or an academic or even some person who is a news freak- and they’ll come and ask you “are you a Sunni or are you a Shi’i?” Can’t a thinking Muslim begin to understand that this concern with being a Sunni or a Shi’i is working to the detriment of both Sunnis and Shi’is? Brothers and sisters- we’ll tell you, we have budgets- not we the committed Muslims, but the treasuries in our countries have budgets in which they will build Mosques and they will give generously to people who the sense are sectarians- they are more Shi’is than they are Muslims (or) they are more Sunnis than they are Muslims. If you present yourself like that you have access to affluence and you have access to finances. We have been working in the past twenty-five years or so on trying to close this distance between those who consider themselves Muslims but of a Shi’i persuasion and those who consider themselves Muslims but of a Sunni persuasion but we don’t have any budgets. We’ve seen crop around us Masajid but look where we are. We’ve been here in the street for thirty years. In these thirty years we’ve seen people who are hyphenated Muslims who have access to money so they build their won Masajid or they purchase their own Masajid. We’ve seen and we’ve experienced with our own eyes and through these years people who are sectarian first were given visas to come to communities in the United States or in the West. Why? Because they are pushing a particular sectarian line. We ask you, (and some of you are advanced in life just like yours truly here): have you seen (or) have you experienced in all of these years a Masjid that was financed and built in which a person from let’s say a Shi’i background can deliver a khutbah this week from his own convictions and next week from the same mimbar a Sunni can ascend the mimbar and express his internal thoughts from a Sunni background both of which will serve to harmonize or bring harmony to the Islamic congregation in attendance. You haven’t seen it and we haven’t seen it because it doesn’t exist! That means the money goes to the sectarians and those who stand for the integrity and the consolidation of Muslims from whichever school of thought they come from don’t have budgets. This is an indictment of those who claim they are for Islamic unity and Islamic solidarity from whichever school of thought they come from. That’s issue number one.
Issue number two- we have in the past few days a scholar- a senior (or) a foremost scholar- in Saudi Arabia who comes out and says “elections are a bid’ah.” He says in a very insulting way “how can any Muslim accept average people electing their officials.” He didn’t use the word average, he used the word that is similar to the mob or similar to- “How can someone accept these types of people agreeing to elect someone?” Brothers and sisters- these are cave men, these are dark minds! We, the Muslims are proud or we should be if we only studied our own history. We are the ones who are responsible for the meaning or the notion of a social contract. The bai’ah and shura are feeders of a social contract between who make decisions and those who elect them to make decisions. It was Renaissance Europe that discovered the meaning of social contract and now, because they have the power and the wherewithal, they are the ones who propagandize it in the form of what they call democracy. We can’t even see (and) we don’t even know that they took these social concepts from us. They tailored it to their own history and to their own societies and we have reactionary scholars in Arabia who in their attack against elections (and) against the concept of a social contract are reacting to European power and they are not discovering their Islamic history.