The Genesis of the breakdown of taqwa Part 2

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Rajab 19, 1431 2010-07-02

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,

It is not very often that we take a close look at our numerous selves. The habit has been to have Muslims concentrate on their own individual self. Much of the teaching and many of the talks that are presented try to have us limited to our own selves. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting our errant selves, but there is something wrong when we think that we are caged into this one self of ours without having a collective responsibility and a social role to play in approaching Allah. We’re going to be a little harsh on ourselves as we relate to those who rule us. These words are not going to be said in a vacuum. You have to realise that many of the average people have a social behaviour that is subservient to those who have power and wealth. It is this area that we are going to try and put our minds together on- guided by Allah’s words and the Prophet’s words. First, let us go to what Allah says about this dynamic i.e. the relationship between those who rule and those who are ruled. Many of us, (we hope most of us), are familiar with the narrative of Allah’s Prophet- Musa (alaihi as salaam). This was one individual who had with him a cantankerous group of people who were face-to-face with the number one ruler in the world at that time- referred to in the Qur’an as Phiraun/the Pharoah. There were different encounters/occasional run-ins between Musa and Phiraun. We want to zero-in on one of these encounters because these ayaat have us at that time and that place. Don’t think that this is history. This is something that applies and is as meaningful today as it was then. Allah Al Haqq says in Surah Ta-Ha… this is the moment Musa was challenged by, (what you may call), the experts/professionals/highest class of society barring the ruling class at that time i.e. those who manipulate public opinion/can fool people by their imagery. (It’s) as if this moment is a condensation moment of the slow motion manipulation that we are living in today. There are people today who play with your mind. They want you to believe one thing that is contrary to the truth. This moment in our lives is played out in years and decades. Here, in this event, this moment was concentrated in a few minutes. So this is the scenario. Musa is there and he has a cane/staff or in simple language a stick in his hand and these people had all of technology/modernity/scientific advancement. We’re not speaking about something simple. We’re talking about a civilisation/modernity at that time that could mummify bodies. That is a science/body of knowledge that even we today do not have. So we’re not speaking about some simpletons here. So this power structure in Egypt summons the best that it has to challenge this simple man Musa. What does he have. When they stand there and the Egyptian wizards of wonder perform, Musa… Imagine if one of you having Allah’s words with him goes to the White House and the White House has summoned for you the most complex/sophisticated people to disprove you? Allah at this moment says to Musa

وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا ۖ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِر

Put or throw down that cane which is in your right hand. It will undo what they have fabricated because what they have fabricated is within the conspiratorial powers of those who manipulate reality… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 69)

Meaning that within the human potential is that ability to have people look at things to appear the way they are not in reality. Remember, this has been going on with us for years/decades/generations. There have been people at the helm of things with all the technology/science/information that they have who have been misrepresenting the facts/reality to us.

إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِر

… and these types who manipulate… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 69)

If you go back to your translation, you will find that the word saahir means magician or sorcerer or something like that. It’s not that simple. These people who were summoned by that Head of State- the Pharoah- wasn’t relying on hocus-pocus people. He was relying on people who had something substantial to offer public opinion. And however way these individuals applied their advanced knowledge of things to have people believe that what they are doing appears to them, Allah orders Musa in a couple of words

وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا

Just throw down your stick and it will undo all of their fabrications… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 69)

Notice that in this ayah Allah didn’t go through the details of saying “Musa put down his staff and the people were watching.” When Allah gives and order, the Prophet or man of Allah doesn’t need the comment that he followed up on that order. So the next picture that we have is

فَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّدًا

These manipulators of the human senses immediately showed their respect for what Musa had done. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 70)

Why? Because they knew that he wasn’t one of them and he wasn’t going by the same rules/information/manipulation that they were going by so immediately they acknowledged the superiority/truth of Musa.

قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَارُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ

… that said, acknowledged and confessed saying “we have committed ourselves to the Sustainer of Haroon (or) Aron and Musa (or) Moses.” (Surah Ta-Ha verse 70)

Remember, this is a time when this power structure and the Pharoah Head of this power structure and his class of experts/professionals/scientists were misleading the world. They weren’t misleading their own society, they were misleading the world- much like what we have today and all the people- this we’re going to touch on because sometimes we have a public opinion that is totally docile/domesticated by those who have power and wealth. They just go with the flow. They don’t ask. They’re not independent. They can’t think for themselves. They are fed information to process the consequent though, but these had enough integrity in them to say “now we know what is right and wrong and so”

آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَارُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ

… we commit ourselves to the Lord/Sustainer of Haroon and Musa. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 70)

Brothers and sisters: listen here to Allah as He put this significant development in eternal words. Pharoah turns to his own inner circle i.e. the ones that said

آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَارُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ

… we are committed to the Sustainer of Haroon and Musa. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 70)

and said

قَالَ آمَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ

Aah- you mean to tell me you commit yourselves to the Sustainer of Haroon and Musa before I give you permission? (Surah Ta-Ha verse 71)

This is how they behave. This is how people who have what they think is absolute power- i.e. they are in control of economic/military/political/propagandistic and any sort of power you can think of- speak to regular people. More than that, this is how they speak to their own types if their own types step away from them as has happened here.

قَالَ آمَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ

You committed yourselves to Him before I give you the license to do so? (Surah Ta-Ha verse 71)

Here is where the internal Pharoanic structure begins to take on it’s own self. The Pharoah says

إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْر

… Oh- I know what it is. It is your senior who has taught you this type of sihr. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 71)

Remember the other ayah in the Qur’an in Surah Al Qasas

إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا

Pharaun has reached unprecedented heights in the world and therefore he has rendered it’s inhabitants divisions/hostile parties/factions inundated with friction… (Surah Al Qasas verse 4)

So this policy that he is applying to the world he brings it in to his own close circle. He wants to divide them hoping that what will happen now is that he’ll gain the rest of them and then isolate their master/superior. Now the threat that comes from people who have these powers. He says to them

فَلَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِي جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ

… I am going to cut off your limbs diagonally- right hand with left leg and left hand/arm with right leg- that is how I am going to cut you up and I am going to crucify you on the trunks of date palm trees… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 71)

That’s a real threat. It’s not coming from someone who’s bluffing. It’s coming from the most an individual can accumulate of power- not in a small country/municipality/neighbourhood- in the world. This is what he said he’s going to do to these people who were just yesterday/an hour ago the closest people to him.

وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَا أَشَدُّ عَذَابًا وَأَبْقَىٰ

… this way you’re going to be sure who is more ferocious in means of torture with a continuity to it. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 71)

The Pharaoh is say right now you’re listening to this person- this Musa! He speaks about eternity/a life to come and all of this, but hey wait a minute; I can do to you all of these things to you right now and I’ll prove to you the difference between what I say and what Musa is saying. What did they say?

قَالُوا لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ

They said to him we’re not going to prefer you…(Surah Ta-Ha verse 72)

This takes a lot of character/courage. Because look around today- people don’t want to speak to power. These people were speaking and they knew to whom they were speaking.

قَالُوا لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَىٰ مَا جَاءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ

They said we’re not going to prefer you to the evidence that has come to us… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 72)

We know what happened and we’re convinced that Musa is right and you are wrong. We’re not speaking about Musa speaking, we’re speaking about individuals who became committed to Allah and Musa just a few minutes ago and this is the way they are speaking to the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of their State/Civilisation.

وَالَّذِي فَطَرَنَا

… by He who has made it possible for us to emerge into life or crack into being (so to speak) and then they tell him… (Surah Ta-Ha verse 72)

These are words we want to hear from committed Muslims who have been harping on their commitment for years/decades “Oh Shaykh/Imam/Scholar so-and-so…” they’re not even capable of speaking the words we are listening to coming from those who just a few minutes ago were on the opposite side of the issue. They said to the Pharoah like every Muslim should have the courage to say.

فَاقْضِ مَا أَنتَ قَاضٍ

… they said go ahead, let it be, decree it and let it pass…(Surah Ta-Ha verse 72)

because when it comes to what you’re going to decree/have pass is the termination of a worldly life. So what? You put our worldly life behind us and we go on to something better.

We’re going to take another ayah. Remember these people who have just spoken (and) whose words are registered in the eternal words of the Qur’an were not Musa’s people. These were not Bani Isra’eel. These came from what you would call today the establishment at the time. These are establishmentarian figures deeply rooted/situated in the institutions of their State/power structure/culture and country.

Let us take a look at this. Like we said at the beginning of the khutbah, we’re going to be harsh on the public behaviour that fails to stand with Allah against tyrants/Kings/Rulers who have disregarded Allah’s authority and power and began to destabilize life as it is. Another ayah in Surah Saba says, and please listen closely because we suffer from the lack of behaviour of this ayah in today’s world.

In this world- we all live in here- those of us who are with Allah and the confidence of us being with Allah, (as few as we may be), and then the many people around- especially those who adorn themselves with Islam. In this world those who have the physical power appear to be getting away with it, but Allah takes us into a quick journey to the final world. All of us are going to come together there. Those who have power here and those who have been on the lower rungs of society and this is the caption- watch it.

وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الظَّالِمُونَ

… and if you could see these Dhalimun, oppressors, tyrants, dictators and people who were institutionalising injustice and dictating their own whims and desires as laws and values… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

Now they are all there on that day. We wish you could have a sense of the wording of this. Allah says

مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ

… they came to a stand still at their Sustainers… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

This gives the implication that in this world they were always moving. And it’s true. (If) you look at the power/ruling/wealthy class, they’re always moving/dart away. It’s almost impossible to get a grip on them. This ayah describes them in all generations. This is a constant description of them. This ayah says

مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يَرْجِعُ

… they come to a full stop in the presence of their Sustainer… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

There’s no running around/hiding/shuffling around the world and all of the other stuff they do over here.

يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ

… some of them are bouncing their statements back to each other… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

The word Adh Dhalimun at the beginning of this ayah also means not necessarily those who are particularly charged with institutionalising injustices in the world, it also means those who accept it. Their acceptance of it makes them part of it. So here they are exchanging words. What are they saying? Allah tells us.

الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا

… those in this world who didn’t have power, Al Mustad’afin… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

That’s a word that you’re all familiar with- powerless people in this world.

لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا

… say to those who gained a high status in this Earthly material world… (Surah Saba’ verse 31)

In other words the average person in this world is speaking to the official who used to be in this world i.e. those who used to make laws/carve out values/influence public opinion/feed their Constituents with the information that they wanted to feed them with- all of these find themselves together. So what does the powerless people say when they look at these big shots in this world?

لَوْلَا أَنتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُؤْمِنِينَ

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا أَنَحْنُ صَدَدْنَاكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَىٰ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَكُم

… they said “if it wasn’t for you we would have been Mu’minin, committed Muslims.” The Mustakbiruns said to those who are powerless in this world “you mean to tell us that it was we who diverted and barred you from guidance after it had come to you?” (Surah Saba’ verse 31-32)

In other words “don’t blame us. We weren’t there telling you by force that you have to be this/that way. You made up your own mind.” The presidents, kings, rulers, autocrats, tycoons, people with power and wealth on that day tell the average person- brother

بَلْ كُنتُم مُّجْرِمِينَ

… you were the criminals. (Surah Saba’ verse 32)

Don’t say “we caused it.” See how the words are going back and forth? There ‘s no need for this. If in this world Al Mustadh’afun had confidence in Allah they wouldn’t have to be in this kind of argument with the Al Mustakbirin, but because they went (along) in this world (when) the Mustakbirs said “you have to do it this way” and they did it this way. They didn’t question/think about what did Allah and His Prophet say about this.

بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ

… This is it- when we look back at the ongoing night and day conspiracy, we can figure it out.. (Surah Saba’ verse 33)

This is something we can look at now. We don’t have to go to Al Aakhirah to see what is happening here and now. Can’t you see what people with worldly/material power are doing with people who don’t have power? Can’t you see what is going on. Open your eyes before you approach that day and you yourself get involved in this back-and-forth argument between those who have power and those who didn’t. Now they figured it out. They’re over there (and) they look back at this world and they say “Oh. True- you didn’t come and put a gun to our head and say “don’t think of Allah and the Prophet. You were much smarter than that. You put the wrong information into our head and that is why we find ourselves with you on this miserable day.” This is what is happening. Can anyone see it/speak about it.

There is a hadith from Allah’s Prophet, but before we get to the hadith we want to say that the problem we have today is the inability of the Muslim public to stand up in unison as they should and weed out all of these imposed tyrants. Before we got here, we have to understand that we didn’t get here in two minutes, two days or two centuries. It took along time. Even if we go back into the Umawi period- Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. Have you ever wondered why these lessons in history are not public knowledge? Because it only takes a common mind/an average person to realise what has happened. Something wrong happened. This Umawi ruler, (they call him in the history books Khalifah- we don’t buy that, but anyway that’s another issue for another day), over the Muslims by decree made it law. He said you can’t say to me ittaqillah. Just this little observation of this one incident in history goes to tell us that a person in power- a king like that- was able to substantially ruin much of the justice structure in Islam when he forbid citizens of the Islamic State and the constituents of an Islamic society from telling him ittaqillah. This was over 1,300 years ago. Imagine if things began like that at that time. There was a Abbasi ruler by the name of Al Muntasir Billah. He is also called a Khalifah. (Can) you see how absent minded we are. Almost all Muslims call the rulers of Bani Umayah and Bani Abbas- Khalifa. Al Muntasir Billah killed his own father to become the ruler. His father’s title was Al Mutawakil Alallah. Imagine the son who is to become “Khalifah” kills the father who is currently “Khalifah” and then instead of the son going to prison and then at the end losing his head i.e. capital punishment for such a heinous crime he is honoured by becoming the ruler of all the Muslims. The head that was to be decapitated receives the crown. He was coroneted. Brothers and sisters: we don’t know how you feel/think about this? We don’t even know if this information is within your reach but these are facts and this is because the Muslims themselves could not stand up to this as a unified body of people and say “enough is enough.” Remember (from) the last Khutbah the words that came out of the Khulafa’s mouths to their citizens to help them? Compare that to the behaviour of these later day rulers among the Muslims. We want to go to a hadith from Allah’s Prophet. It’s sort of a long one, but we will end with this hadith. When the day of resurrection unfolds, Allah will descend. Please don’t take this literally; damage will be done if you think about this in a literal way. Allah is not a person defined by a place/time but for us to understand, Allah approaches man so that He will judge them/between them/among them. There/in its place is ever constituted people as it pertains to the time and place specifics that it had in this world. The first one that Allah’s going to call forth for accountability is a person who has compiled the Qur’an and then a man who was killed on the path and for the cause of Allah and a person who has abundant wealth and money. These three types are summoned forth as the first ones to be held accountable by Allah. So Allah says to the person who has compiled/understood/pronounced the Qur’an did I not teach to you what I had revealed to my Messenger. He said of course my Sustainer. What did you do with what you knew? He said I used to carry its responsibilities from the beginning of the day to the end of the night, (so to speak.) Allah says you are lying and the angels say you are lying. Allah is speaking to a person who has memorised/understood/knows the Qur’an and outwardly seems like he is a reflection of the Qur’an. So when Allah asks him these questions he says “I do this and that.” He says you are lying. Why? Because you wanted people to say that you do these things and that’s what was done that is what they said. The person who has all this money is brought forth. Come now, you are in front of the Majesty of Allah and He is asking did I not give you everything you wanted by which you needed no one. He said Yes, certainly Oh Sustainer. What did you do with what I gave you? He said I used to use what you gave me to be forthcoming to those who are in my blood circle/relatives/silat al rahim and I used to give sadaqat, contributions, donations and finances. I used to spend all of these/that. Allah says to him but you are lying and the angels say/said you are lying. Allah says you wanted it to be said that such and such a person, (meaning you), are beneficent/generous/forthcoming/always giving. You wanted people to say that. Now the third person comes. This is a person who died on and for a cause of Allah. Allah knows but He asks him for the record. Allah asks him for what was it that you were killed? He says certainly by Allah I was ordered for a jihad for your cause and on your path and I fought until I was killed. Allah responds to him saying you are lying and the angels say to him you are lying. You wanted people to say that you’re brave. You wanted recognition/acknowledgement from people. In other words Allah is saying if all of these things- the Qari’ of the Qur’an i.e. the person who has collected the Qur’an in his mind/heart, the person who has collected money in his home/accounts and the person who collected the courage/bravery to give his life- were not done for Allah then it has become a show- the artificial show that we have today in the relationship between those who rule and those who are ruled. Allah does not figure in to this, and this in a sense and to a degree explains for us where we are today and why we are in that position today.

Dear committed brothers and sisters, Muslimeen and Mu’minin…

There is an air of hypocrisy/artificial attitude/fakery/deception that describe the relationship between the classes that are being ruled and that rule. This hypocrisy has no justification if we were to integrate the Book of Allah with the Prophet of Allah. Never in any ayah or hadith do we find this hypocritical relationship between people and their rulers, so why are we inflicted with it? Why do we have it? Our body is suffering. We are so weak and feeble in the world that looks- everyone picks a fight with us! And if we want to stand up for the truth, some of us begin to figure/think that if you come to them with words from Allah, what is so-and-so going to think about me? Or how is this Government going to evaluate my organisation? Will we continue to have the financial support that we’ve been getting in the previous years if we stand up for Allah and His Prophet? Where did this come from? Some people praise the Imams and Sahabahs and all this- where in the history of the Imams/Sahabas do you have an attitude that acquiesces and is submissive to tyrants/tin-pot dictators? How come you’ve become more-or-less such an individual? Where did this come from? It came from the historical gradual departure from the do’s and the don’ts that are crystal clear in the Qur’an and the Sunnah but we’ve managed to sweep them under the rug/carpet and they’ve remained there for centuries and now we’re having difficulties in bringing them back to public attention. This is where we are and this explains to us what is happening. (Take) one incident…

Last week, the Government that rules over Al Hejaz/Makkah/Al Madinah- their King was going around attending the E20 in Washington DC, Canada, etc. He’s paying his motions of fidelity/fealty to his masters and minions. Some people may call them officials/decision makers. What were they doing? Remember, the way public opinion is controlled/managed/led by the powerful ruling classes had us thinking what he is doing using their own information feed, his inferiors in the Kingdom were discussing… Imagine we’re bleeding all over the place and you’ve heard of the explosions going off here-and-there, if you look at any geography in the Muslim world, some explosion is going off and what are they discussing there? What are they so concerned with? “Is it permissible for a Saudi man to marry a non-Saudi woman and is it permissible for a Saudi woman to marry a non-Saudi man.” This has become the issue and the deliberation and debate and all that goes on among them. Where did this come from? They say that they are the custodians of the Haramayn and they have this Islamic imagery to them. Where in the Qur’an and Sunnah do they have something called Saudi?! Where does that word fit? If we are Muslims, what’s this Saudi thing about? And then they’re asking if it is permissible? What happened to the equality of Muslims and the dignity of mankind/humanity? This is the discrimination/bias that is built in to the fabric/fibre of those who are imposed on the birthplace of Islam and the Prophet and many Muslims continue to tolerate them. (Can’t) you see? We just had in the Masjid right here which we are denied to enter a crowd of traditionalists go in- we don’t know what they listen to- and then we had the same crowd of traditionalists go out… nothing from Allah and His Prophet, (we can say from the previous years), touches the hearts/minds of the Muslims from such places as long as they are in the throngs of these people who are ruling in Arabia. We will continue to build on this consciousness of the average person towards those who have stolen power along with everything else until we can, at least, satisfy our selves/conscience on this day of taqwa when we are explaining the words ittaqullah.

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