Pre-Islamic Yahudi and Arabian Asabiyyah

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Safar 09, 1432 2011-01-14

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,

Our human nature catches up with us sometimes. It catches up some of us most of the times. Some people develop some questions and the attitude of “why can’t we who are in this life long struggle together be smart about the mission at hand.” We’re just summarising the type of inert ideas/latent thoughts that many/most of us from time-to-time/many times think about/ have a feeling for. We are not the first ones to go down this path. There have been others who are much better/more honourable in the sight of Allah than our humble selves who also had the same responsibilities/objectives that we carry/share. First and foremost amongst them was Allah’s final Messenger. Let us cover an area with you now, (we know it is cold out here), that we hope will not consume extra time. The Prophet of Allah was at Aqaba, (that’s a place there in the Arabian Peninsula in Al Hejaz in the vicinity of Makkah). After a decade of harassment/being ostracized/assaulted/physically abused/he listened to all the negative verbiage that came from his enemies/was isolated/ridiculed- you name it and it came his way. More than ten years! Then one day when he was in this particular place he met a group of people. He asks them who are you? They said we are Al Khazraj i.e. one of the two major population centres of Yathrib before it became Al Madinah. Then he said/asked them, (this is the key word that we want our minds to catch with its meanings, the Prophet’s exact words which means) are you from the clients of Yahud? Now this carries a very significant meaning. Of course they said the truth and responded positively and said yes we are. What was to follow after this was the bai’ah in which they would pay allegiance to Allah and His Prophet; but before that it is very telling that Allah’s Prophet defined a significant portion of the population of Al Madinah in reference to Yahud. Are you from the clients of Yahud? And they said yes which tells us that even though Yahud were not a significant number of people in Yathrib they were the ones by which other people were identified. Even Allah’s Prophet identified these people in their relationship with Yahud. Now these people/the occupants of Yathrib had heard from Yahud that we are living in the time of an advent of a Prophet. Before hearing this and now they met this person and they said among themselves is this the person that Yahud have been speaking to us about? Because Yahud was telling them when this Prophet comes we will be with him and we are going to obliterate you like Iram and previous civilisations/societies. So they said no. Rather us become the followers of this person. The Prophet in this instance in this context faced, (what is called), the Asabiyah of scripturalists. Yahud had their Asabiyah because when he came and said I’m a Prophet they refused to acknowledge his Prophethood- no. We don’t want to accept you as a Prophet. So there was this Asabiyah. Now clannish solidarity- the English words- do not deliver the meaning of Asabiyah. Al Asabiyah is this kind of feeling that brings people together because of anything/everything except the facts and logic/reasoning that go with the facts. So Yahud had their Asabiyah and the Prophet had to face this. He had to deal with this. It was a fact of life. Do we have to skip from this detail in history to the world today for you to be able to think about people who have Asabiyah? So we had this Asabiyah amongst people who said that they are Biblical.

Then we had another Asabiyah and that was the Asabiyah of the Arabians. They had their Asabiyah. In one instance Abu Sufyan who is one of the headhanchos of Makkah at the time, (so to speak), meets with a person called Urwah ibn Mas’ud ibn Al Thaqafi. He was another headhanchos/leading figure in Thaqeef- that was his tribal affiliation or At Ta’if where he lived. So Urwah ibn Mas’ud asks Abi Sufyan there’s a lot of talk about this person Muhammad. What do you think/say about him? Obviously a person from At Ta’if is asking a person from Makkah because the person in Makkah is living the facts and the daily life and what is going on in Makkah. They exchange some of what they had heard and then Abu Sufyan asks Urwah ibn Mas’ud would you ever contemplate becoming a follower of Muhammad? Listen- just like you listened before closely are you from the clients of Yahud that the Prophet of Allah asked Al Khazraj indicating their Asabiyah, here we have Abu Sufyan asking Urwah ibn Mas’ud can you see yourself following that person, (in reference to the Prophet)? He said I can never see myself acknowledging a Prophet who does not come from Thaqeef, meaning not from us. This is Asabiyah. Us! What’s us! Who cares about Tribalism/Ethnicism/ Racialism/Nationalism- all of these components of this conflicting Asabiyah?! The Prophet was living in the middle of all of this. So there were two significant expressions of Asabiyah in the Prophet’s lifetime- scriptural Asabiyah expressed by Yahud there and then and then tribal Asabiyah expressed by tribes/power factions such as Quraysh/Ath Thaqif and the rest of these tribes within whom the Prophet was trying to explain his mission to real people in the world. Then we have the interests that have a way of gelling together elites/powerful individuals. The Prophet came with a message that was meant for everyone- whether they are powerful/wealthy or not didn’t matter. The words of the Qur’an were reverberating in the society of Makkah and Arabia

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

We want to favor those who have been disenfranchised, dispossessed of power or who are powerless in the World and We want to render and make of them- through their own efforts- … leaders and inheritors when they are involved. (Surah Al Qasas verse 5)

These words did not sit well with those who were high up in society. “What are you saying? You mean your God is saying that He wants to favour those who don’t have anything- the poor/dislocated/poverty stricken/hungry/displaced?! What is this?! No. No. No. Don’t bother us with this.” Brothers and sisters- this ayah, (provided people think and know what they are saying and listening to), irritates those who have power. (If) you come and tell them that Allah wants to favour/bring up the poor person around the corner there who doesn’t have a home/shelter/money… No. They don’t want to hear that. This is nothing new. In previous times people in the history of Bani Isra’eel said (in the) time of Talut just a regular person/ average individual in the eyes of the elites was plucked out of society and then became the commander/leader – no-no-no don’t give us that! The words of the Qur’an eternalise this attitude.

أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ عَلَيْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْكِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُؤْتَ سَعَةً مِّنَ الْمَالِ.

… and how can this person be our leader when we are more qualified to be the leaders than he is and besides, he doesn’t have that much money/wealth ...(Surah Al Baqarah verse 247)

These words in the Qur’an mean to us that this attitude is not going to go away. It was there thousands of years ago, at the time of the Prophet and it is here now. We have people who act like that. Now when we have these facts of life what do you do? Some people think they are jammed/can’t get anywhere (so) they want to deal/traffic with these Asabiyaat- “hey, let us give you a meter/yard and you give us a meter/yard so that we can get our act together.” You know - this explains to us many of these people who used to be here for Jum’ah prayers twenty-five/thirty years ago. Where are they now? Some of them have their normal activities in life that take them away and that’s understandable but those who are supposed to be in Islamic positions and who are supposed to have an Islamic mind/heart go traffic with those who occupy/steal the Masajid/Hurumat/sanctities of Allah?! We have these types of people. Why? Because they say “we want to get our act together.” Well- who do we have as reference in all of this? Many people have different thoughts/ideas and they are entitled to that but who is their reference? Is it Allah and His Prophet or is it something else? The Prophet of Allah stood on principle and he did not give an inch to these Asabiyaat. He did not relinquish some principle because of these Asabiyaat but in our days/times that’s exactly what we have. We have some people who think (this is) the best way to get things done and for us to begin to have traction with the people. They will not say/express this in public and we need not hear their words in public because their actions speak louder than any eloquent speeches that they may have prepared or can buy with their money! The Prophet of Allah stood on principle and Allah caused a change to occur. Allah will bring a respite and a breakthrough provided Muslims remain devoted to their principles. Don’t loose sight of principles! Brothers and sisters- this is cold weather and we have no time to elaborate at length but please if you forget everything that was said don’t forget that a Muslim does not/ will not surrender one scintilla/iota of his principle.

Committed Muslims…

In the course of the past week or so we have been privy to what appears to be the beginning of the unravelling of the proxy Zionist/Imperialist network in what is called the Middle East. We have people in what is called North Africa now who are standing in front of the military- something that was bound to happen. How did it all begin? It began with a person/student/ vendor who wanted to sell something to make a living and then he is faced by law enforcement personnel- the cops/police/whoever who tell him “no. You have no right to sell you fruits/vegetables” or whatever he was selling/vending on the street. And in protest the person burns himself to death/eliminates himself that triggered the riots that have not ended but have resulted today in a state of emergency and all of that country i.e. Tunisia. Add to that the rioting going on in neighbouring Algeria; add to that the coming apart of what was called the Saudi-Syrian efforts to diffuse the internal build-up in Lebanon. When something like this is mentioned Muslims who cannot elevate the meanings of Allah’s words and Allah’s Prophet’s words of guidance to where they belong think “what does this have to do with it?” But hopefully we have been tuned in, in the past thirty years. Those of us who stood/want to stay the course have been tuned in to these meanings to understand the hand that is stirring this disturbed pot of troubles/problems for all of these years. Brothers and sisters - they’ve taken all the words: the ruling elites/Governments/Presidents/Kings/Zionists/Imperialists/ Munafiqin out of the Islamic khutbah vocabulary. No one mentions them so when events like this begin to unravel it becomes alien to our Islamic ideas/concept of Islam. “How does this relate to Islam? How do you want to explain from a Qur’anic and a Prophetic point of view what is happening today in Algeria/Tunisia/Lebanon/the occupied territories of the Holy Land/Makkah and Al Madinah itself.” The ailing King of Arabia comes here, (and as far as we know he is still in this country here being treated for a back ailment), meanwhile his type of Government, (if we can call it that), continues to obey orders that are issued here in Washington. Brothers and sisters – (these are not our words. We’re just trying to have you stimulate your memory), in the past year we’ve had from people/individuals who should know better come out and say “the Saudi government is trying to solve the issue in Lebanon.” These words come from people who are beyond a shadow of a doubt but why do they say these things?! We can now and in the future, (we wish we could bring the future in the current day- we can’t do that), but if we have the information that comes to us from Allah we can see the future, (not with its details), in the way it is to unfold. So what do you do on an occasion like this? Do you try to say that these brothers/committed Muslims/Mujahideen/Alladhina Aamanu and all of these who were, sort-of, speaking some what kindly about the Saudi regime “look at them today?!” Ask them “what do you think? Do you still have some type of hope?” We know - brothers and sisters - sometimes when people are in the position of power and when they are caught in their own circumstances they are forced to say things that they themselves don’t think is the truth, but how about us here? Are we forced to say something that doesn’t agree with the truth? No! So let us say the truth about these Saudi agents of Shaytaan and maintain the truth in their face. The day will come when the mask will come off their ugly faces so that not only Muslims but everyone else will see their true character/ purpose.

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