The Prophet's (S) quest for a base Part 2

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Dhu al-Hijjah 29, 1432 2011-11-25

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 will continue to accompany Allah’s Prophet and to understand where we have in the past failed to understand him. In the past hundred, two hundred years we suffered from a failure in understanding him. We seek to rehabilitate ourselves, to refresh our minds (and) to energize our conscience (and) to understand what he stood for. The Prophet of Allah, we all know, reached a time in which it was no longer possible to have a peaceful of even a normal relationship between him and those who are with him on one side in Makkah and the rest of Makkah on the other side. There comes a time when this has to happen. If this doesn’t happen in our lives then there is a failure on our part to fulfil the character of Allah’s Prophet which he left for us.

There are some words that are absent from the vocabulary of today’s Muslims, Muslim speakers and Muslim guides and Muslim figures. There are some words that are located in our references and in our sources that don’t make it to the speeches and the ideas that are presented by such Muslims. There is the word al min’ah. Al min’ah simply means immunity. In the Seerah of Allah’s Prophet, Allah’s Prophet sought immunity. Of course, this word is not a conversational word in Islamic literature nowadays because it is going to cause Muslims who are reading or listening to think. The Prophet of Allah seeking immunity? This is in the context of him and his on one side and the Mushriks and theirs on the other side.

There’s another word called al muwaada’ah. Al muwaada’ah simply means cordial relations. In the dynamics of the society of Makkah at the Prophet’s time there was a thing, a relationship, an interaction of people within this divide that can be described as cordial relationships.

There is the word al jiwaar. Al jiwaar means you enter into the protective power or custody or relationship of another person or another power faction simply because you are in its vicinity.

There is the word an nasrah i.e. the Prophet of Allah seeking the assistance of a power faction so that he can move forward, so that he can expand this message of Islam in the geography that he was in.

These words- brothers and sisters- are not common words. There are not lectures and presentations that are constructed around these words- al min’ah, al muwaada’ah, al jiwaar and an nasrah. When was the last time you heard a lecturer, a Khateeb, a Shaykh (or) a leader of some sorts giving a sermon or a presentation with these words? You have the answer for yourself. So with Allah’s Prophet coming under the threats and the dangers of Makkah- threats and dangers that have their parallel in today’s world; those who want to relive the character of Allah’s Prophet will find that the enemies of old are the enemies of today- Allah says to His Prophet

وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

… Allah will shield you from people who want to harm you … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 67)

What does this mean? We know that as is the case with many words and many ayaat in the Qur’an there are ijtihadi opinions (i.e.) the better judgment of thinkers when it comes to explaining these meanings. The general linguistic meaning of this ayah is

وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

… and Allah will protect you, (the you here is His Prophet Muhammad), from the people and their rage, their conspiracies and their hostilities … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 67)

When we take a look at the lifetime of our beloved Prophet we find that he was the target of a broad spectrum of animosity from the Qurayshi and the Mushrik enemies of Makkah. Didn’t Allah’s Prophet suffer in many ways? Wasn’t he hurt in many ways? Wasn’t he ridiculed in many ways? Wasn’t there pressure on him psychologically in his extended family (and) from his extended family? Wasn’t he injured? Did he not bleed? If all of that is the case then what does it mean to say

وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

… Allah is going to shield you from these Mushrik peoples … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 67)

What does that mean? What type of shield is this? What type of protection is Allah in these words of the eternal Qur’an talking about? The simple meaning to this is

وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

… Allah is going to protect you from their attempts to kill you … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 67)

The Prophet wasn’t killed by them. They wanted to do so. They conspired; they concocted their own plans to eliminate him on several occasions culminating in their agreement to stab him to death by representatives of all the power factions. All of that failed. Why? Because Allah says

وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

… Allah is going to protect you from their attempts to kill you … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 67)

But to understand this we’re going to have to understand Makkah a little more; we’re going to have to understand the relationship between an allegiance and a pledge to Allah vis-à-vis all other pledges and allegiances in the world. If we wanted to get a somewhat closer look at this relationship between those who carry a commitment to Allah- and not only carry it in their hearts but carry it in their behavior- and the opposing system and society refer in your time of contemplation and convenience to the first ten or so ayaat in Surah Al Mumtahanah. We will just quote a few of them.

Allah says in ayah number four in Surah Al Mumtahanah.

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ

You, (the listening Muslims, the tuned in Muslims), had a prime example in Ibrahim and those who were with him … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 4)

OK- What is this example?

إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ

… they, (Ibrahim and his followers), said to their people we are at a distance from you or we are free from what you do or we have nothing to do with the way your life has taken it’s conformity to the exclusion of Allah; we, (Ibrahim and those who are with him), are Kafirs in what you do … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 4)

This is the seriousness of the split in society when we are serious about it. This is not going to be serious if we’re not serious about it; and many of today’s Muslims- and we hope this is more of the past than it is of the future- are not serious about this.

وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا

… manifest has become the animosity and the hatred between us and you for eternity in what you do … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 4)

We ask you: in today’s world, where are the Muslims who identify with their behavior and with their psychology- just at that level, psychology and behavior? Who are the ones who can embody these meanings? The answer rests with you. It’s your open mind, your thinking mind, your involved mind that has the answer for you.

وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

… this relationship of irreconcilability is here to stay forever until you commit yourselves to the authority and to the power of Allah- and only Allah … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 4)

At the core of this issue there is a substance, a matter of allegiance to Allah or allegiance to anyone or anything else and that cannot be polluted. This was the struggle that Allah’s Prophet was in. In this struggle we begin to understand from circumstance-to-circumstance and from condition-to-condition the words al min’ah, and the word al jiwaar and the word al muwaada’ah and the word an nasrah. If we don’t have this context (and) if we don’t see it clearly (and) if we don’t bring it into our lives these words don’t play- they don’t have any practical meaning.

Ok- then we go to another set (of ayaat), three or so ayaat also within the same first ten ayaat of Surah Al Mumtahanah. Then Allah says- and we listen to Him here with all our heart and all our mind-saying


There is hope … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 7)

Remember this ayah in today’s world when the Muslims are being painted with the veil brush of people who are bent on violence and terror and all this other nonsense and lies. Allah says

عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُم مِّنْهُم مَّوَدَّةً

There is hope that Allah will bring cordiality between you (i.e. the committed Muslims, the companions of Ibrahim, the companions of Allah’s Prophet, the followers of Muhammad and Ibrahim) and those that expressed hostility to you and you expressed hostility to them … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 7)

Meaning even though when the conditions, the psychology and the social reality is (that) there’s a break in this society as was the case of Allah’s last Prophet in Makkah when there was a break; this break was so serious that those who were in power wanted to kill Allah’s Prophet. That’s how serious it was. In the psychology of Muslims even though the hostility is to that degree and to that depth we still harbor the hope that in time- we don’t know when, (it could be) next year, next generation, a thousand years; Allah only knows- there will be a cordial relationship that will develop between these two sides. Then Allah says.

وَاللَّهُ قَدِيرٌ

… Allah is capable of this, Allah has the power to bring this about... (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 7)

And then Allah says

وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

… Allah is ever forgiving and ever merciful. (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 7)

And then, listen closely, here Allah is speaking about committed Muslims when they gain the upper hand. Realize how all of a sudden in the course of a couple of ayaat we- meaning the committed Muslims in the time of Ibrahim (alaihi as salaam), in the time of Muhammad or in our time or n any other time- have this break in society and we have all of this hostility coming down with it’s power structure on the Muslims and then Allah puts us in charge. Now we have the power.

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

Allah does not ban you from expressing social justice towards those who have not launched wars against you or towards those who have not expelled you from your homelands for Allah adores those who want to implement this social justice. (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 8)

Then the ayah goes on

إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ

But Allah does ban you or Allah does not permit you to be forthcoming with your Islamic character of mercy towards those who have launched wars against you or towards those who have expelled you from your countries, from your territories, from your homelands… (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 9)

Allah doesn’t expect you to show a merciful character towards them

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ

… as well as towards those who support that type of war aggressions or social dislocation aggression … (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 9)

Do you read these words? These pertain to our status today. Aren’t there forces in this world who have aggressed against us? Aren’t there forces in this world who have dislocated us? So how can a Muslim stand up in good faith (while) reading this Qur’an and claiming to understand what’s in it and say “we are in a strategic relationship” with these very enemies that are described in this very ayah? This is true. There are Rulers in Arabia who say “they are in a strategic relationship” with the Satanic powers that are expressing with their bullets and their bombs their animosity and their hatred of the Muslims. You can’t combine these two.

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

… so whoever enters into this strategic relationship with them then they become Dhalims, they are guilty of massive injustice, they are accessories to war crimes, they are oppressors of their populations. (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 9)

These were ayaat that had substance to them unlike in today’s world (where) people just read these ayaat and then cannot find their relevant and their dutiful meanings.

(We think), when we last spoke, following the footsteps of Allah’s Prophet in that social conundrum of Makkah we reached the years after which the Prophet of Allah suffered the two to three years of ostracization, of economic strangulation, of a social boycott in Sha’b Abi Talib in Makkah. It may be noteworthy to remark that during the last two to three years in Makkah barely any Mushrik became a Muslims. So how do we understand Allah’s Prophet in those conditions? This is what appears to have evolved from his thinking and from his movements. He had reached the conclusion that there is no hope in Makkah after those years in which the Muslims were in their internal hijrah, (we described it), and seeing that there is no longer an acceptance of Islam in Makkah, Makkah being the center of Arabia at that time, the Prophet began to look beyond Makkah. His uncle has passed away. His uncle had offered him protection and the Prophet of Allah had offered him protection and the Prophet of Allah had accepted that protection- however way you may want to define the character of his uncle. We know the history books on this score and there’s no time to go in them but we give you the freedom to judge his uncle any way you want. The Prophet accepted his uncle’s protection and support. There is no argument about this in Islamic history. After his uncle passes away or during that same year his wife, who was another pillar of support for him, also passes away. Even though its not mentioned in Islamic history or in the source books of Islam that that was the Prophet’s year of sorrow but later on, looking back at that time, we may indeed call it his year of sorrow. So the Prophet now having exhausted the whole potential of Makkah the center, what does he do? He sets his attention beyond Makkah. Which area or which city or which area is he thinking about and may have had expectations from? It was At Ta’if. It wasn’t Yathrib. Ta’if was, (in today’s language), the twin city of Makkah. Notice that when the Muslims became the Commanders of Arabia the twin city of Makkah became a Madinah but in the jahili history of Arabia the twin city of Makkah was At Ta’if. So the Prophet’s attention was on At Ta’if. In the tenth year of the Nubuwah the Prophet himself went to At Ta’if. In these years since Iqra’ and since Yaa Ayyuhal Mudaththir; Qum the Prophet stayed in Makkah. We knew some of the Muslims who were under duress left Makkah to Al Habashah and to other areas but the Prophet himself remained in Makkah. When he decided to leave Makkah he decided to go to At Ta’if. Ta’if is roughly about seventy kilometers ­South-East of Makkah and this was a mountainous terrain, it wasn’t desert. So it took about two days to traverse the difficulties of this terrain to reach At Ta’if and it took roughly about two days to come back from At Ta’if to Makkah. The Prophet stayed in At Ta’if for ten days. So here we had a sojourn of the Prophet for fourteen days outside of Makkah trying to win if not the ideological support of At Ta’if outside Makkah then at least their passive support, the nusrah- the type of social umbrella they can offer him so he can move forward in Arabia with expressing the meanings of this Islam to the people who need it most. He left Makkah secretly. He didn’t tell anyone he was leaving Makkah. The only person who accompanied him on this journey was Zayd ibn Haarithah (radiAllahu anhu)- mawla Rasulillah. They went to At Ta’if walking. We know that there is a mentality in today’s world that if we wanted to do what the Prophet did they will tell us “this is bid’ah. You’re not permitted to do this.” But what if some Muslims begin to bring the Prophet’s ideas into today’s world? Just to appreciate and evaluate what the Prophet did let them walk to At Ta’if. We ask you, (you are thinking Muslims), have you ever heard of Muslims walking from Makkah to At Ta’if and walking back from At Ta’if to Makkah? The Regime that is ruling there will probably not permit it. “What are you doing? This is a bid’ah” they’ll tell you. Meaning the Prophet’s footsteps themselves are a bid’ah. We’re not doing this- we’re just doing what the Prophet did! Are we not permitted to do something like that? “No! You’re not even permitted to think about something like that.” So when the Prophet spoke to these Nobles or these big figures of At Thaqif, they had their commercial and financial and economic interests and all of these were tied to Makkah. They said no-no, you have no chance. They were not polite to him. Let us quote to you some of what they said. You know- Thaqif and At Ta’if were the center of Al Laat. The two words that you are familiar with when you read Islamic history and literature are Al Laat and Uzza- those two gods. Al Laat was the god of At Ta’if. So when the Prophet tried to express the meaning of Islam to these people here’s how they responded to him. For those of you who look at today’s Arabians who have an Islamic cosmetic appearance, listen to these Arabians and how they spoke to Allah’s Prophet. One of them said to Allah’s Prophet bluntly get out of our town. Another one said the following: I will shred the garment of the Ka’bah if Allah sent you or I will tear it up if you are a Messenger from Allah. Another one said to him didn’t Allah find someone else to send beside you?! Finally there was this person who said to the Prophet of Allah by Allah I’ll never speak to you. If you are a Messenger for Allah you are more dangerous than to have me respond to what you are saying and if you are lying on behalf of Allah then it doesn’t behoove me to speak to you at all. These are the type of Arabians that we have in today’s world. You see- the same psychology is there. They only have this surface appearance of going through as salaah and siyam by which they have duped the rest of the Muslims. The Prophet of Allah said to these people let this matter that has taken place between me and you remain between me and you. What he meant by that is don’t spread this word in Arabia of how you have turned me down. He wanted this just to stay on a local level. Of course, they refused. When the Prophet returned to Makkah he was given the social protection Al Mut’im ibn Adi and he was there saying “I’m not going to accept the protection of a person who’s not a Muslim” when he needed that protection the most.

This is the Seerah. These are the facts and this is the behavior and character that is absent from today’s Islamic discourse and the powers that be don’t want you to understand Islam like this because you can look them in the eye and speak truth to power.

Dear Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…

We know, some of us because of our lack of pertinent information feel awkward when we try to transplant the fresh meanings of the ayaat and the ahadith into our times. It becomes strange to some people. The reason it is strange is because our psychology has been alienated from Allah and His Prophet and as much rituals and as much ceremonials and as much rites as we demonstrate, the fact remains that in the core of ourselves we are isolated from the meanings that are supposed to be fresh to us. This Qur’an is for us to manage.

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Can they not manage this Qur’an or do their hearts have locks on them? (Surah Al Qitaal verse 24)

This is where we are stuck because we have an Establishment, we have a power structure that hides behind these cosmetics. In today’s world, as we speak, there are wars that are being planed. Where are the Muslims who are counteracting these wars by an understanding of what Allah and His Prophet said to us with guidance and with light? Avoid the insight of a committed Muslim as he visualizes with the light and the enlightenment of Allah. Can’t we live up to today’s world.

One of the issues that everyone speaks about but it is haram for them to mention it in the Masajid, (and as the years and the weeks go by you will remember these words), we’ve covered the issue of sectarianism for a considerable period of time. There was a stretch of maybe a couple of years in which we tried our human and our humble best to express the last card that they will play against the Muslims and that’s the issue of sectarianism. Right now we sense that there’s an atmosphere and climate that wants a Muslim to kill another Muslim because of this foul sectarianism. We see this moving and claiming hundreds and thousands of lives from the Arabian Peninsula all the way up to Asia minor but where are our respected Scholars to shed light and enlighten the Muslims so that a Muslim can extend his hand to other Muslim regardless of his school of thought and deal with the issue of justice and social justice because that’s our prime responsibility?

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ

We have sent our Emissaries/Messengers with evidence and we have allocated to them divine information/scripture and a criterion so that people are able to function with institutionalized justice… (Surah Al Hadid verse 25)

They want us to deviate from al qiyaam bi al qist and to have an internal hemorrhage in the Muslim body in the Muslim population in the world. You can sense this sectarianism if you happen to be a Sunni, (we regret using these words but our condition, meaning the condition of the general Muslim mind out there, does not permit us to speak in a language that is free of these crutches- these words are crutches), you are hyping up the events in Syria and you are playing down the events in Al Yemen and in Al Bahrain. If you are a Shi’i, (and once again, these words are like crutches; they don’t belong), you are dismissing what is happening in Syria. Both of these are not accurate being that most of the powers in the world with their regional extensions in that geography in the world are looking at Syria as a make-or-break issue. We will say this in the Khutbah. We have said this to others and now we will say it in the Khutbah. When Imam Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was presented with a statement

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ

… but governance belongs to no one else except Allah… (Surah Al An’am verse 57)

He said a statement of truth but with false intentions. What is happening in Syria is a valid uprising of people but the intention behind it is false. As far as the Syrian Government or Regime is concerned, it is a false, illegitimate Government but the intentions behind it appear to be legitimate (i.e.) the liberation of Palestine, the concentration on the Palestinian issue, the alliance with the Islamic State in Iran. Between the haqq and the baatil at these two ends most Muslims are lost! They don’t even have the integrity of the soul and the clarity of the mind to express this issue with light from Allah and His Prophet. The du’a that Allah’s Prophet said at At Taif to You, O Allah! I express lament for my weakness…

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