The Qur'an, the liberation of Al Quds & the Haramayn Q&A

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Achmad Cassiem, Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Jumada' al-Ula' 29, 1417 1996-10-12

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi ws sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

Imam Cassiem: because the Sunset Clause in the negotiations, (Joe Slovo was the one who introduced the Sunset Clause), gave “the security forces and the civil servants in this country five years to remain in power”; in other words these very criminals that were responsible for these massacres and murders and genocide even against neighbouring African countries will remain in power until 1999 and these are the culprits who are responsible for writing this distorted reports but for the liberation leaders to actually sit and debate these issues has been remarkable! One of the recommendations made, (is here, which states), point number one PAGAD, i.e. the people against gangsterism and drugs must not be stigmatised but isolate the militant elements within PAGAD. This is a recommendation that has failed and since that statement was made they even boast in a news report in the Argus- was made a month ago the Intelligence Agencies of this country have been highly successful in implementing that strategy. There is the strategy chart. It says here “major thrust must be against PAGAD. Divide them because they will become too hot an issue.” Who is PAGAD? PAGAD is you and I. We are the people against gangsters and drugs but as Imam Musa pointed out- we know that this goes beyond the drug dealer on the street corner. These are international syndicates involved. In fact the minister of Justice, Dullah Umar, has in more than one occasion said “they are two hundred and seventy eight identified international syndicates operating in South Africa.” Can you imagine? Two hundred and seventy eight! These are the issues that need to be addressed. Why target PAGAD? Why do Church leaders discourage people from supporting the movement against gangsterism and drugs? For obvious reasons- that they are afraid of the political implications of what they are busy with. Let us not be deceived. They the way to deal with this is for us to stand up collectively and express our disgust that we have twenty members of parliament with Muslim names inside that parliament and they have done nothing about this issue! When President Mugabe spoke in parliament and said “there is no place for fundamentalist Islam in Africa” those same twenty individuals sat with their mouths full of teeth. Shukran

Q: Who can we invest our money in the country?(For Imam Al Asi)

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: Before we can think about investment we should begin to think about reclaiming what is ours. What are you going to invest in when it’s in someone else’s hands? I think, (in a practical sense), the first step (is) let’s not get very emotional here and stumble because of our emotionalism. The first thing that has to be done in this country is to identify those Jews who right now enjoy the good camouflage and are away from the public eye. These have to be indentified. It probably is not going to be the easiest task to do but it has to be done. Their functions (and) their influences, whether they are in the government (or) whether they are in the financial sector (or) whether they are in the military (or) whether they are in diplomatic quarters- wherever they are they have to be identified (and) the roles they are playing about has to become public knowledge. The way they are getting away with is (because) it is private knowledge; the way they will not get away with this is when it becomes public knowledge. Once that area is clear- depending on the dynamics here in consolidating the Islamic and the oppressed issue- then we can take whatever public action at that time is against these types. We can’t come here and put ourselves in the status quo and then try and accept that status quo by investing in certain investment issue when what belongs to us doesn’t belong to us any longer?! Let us reclaim what is ours.

Q: (Crucifixion) Is that the teachings of Islam that are observed as a religion- (From a new convert to Islam?)

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: I don’t think I said Jesus was crucified. I said that the Jews tried to have him crucified. Muslims believe Jesus was not killed, he was not crucified. The words of the Qur’an, the words of Allah state

وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ

… they did not kill him (Isa/Jesus alayhi as salaam) nor did they crucify him but they were led to believe they did... (Surah An Nisa’ verse 157)

Q: (You spoke about) Yahud and Nasara in the Jum’ah khutbah. The question I’d like to ask is did the Prophet ever join the Kuffaar in order to solve this problem? The reason I’m asking this is that today there are the drug dealers and drunkards- can we count on these people to solve Muslim’s problems.

Imam Cassiem: That question obviously refers to numerous government Members addressing or delivering pre-khutbah talks in the various Masajid. It is distasteful when a person has been accused- whether in the press or by his colleagues- that he was involved in drug dealing and (where) that question has not been satisfactorily answered that that person be allowed to enter a Masjid in order to give a pre-khutbah talk. We are not that paranoid about seeking advice or consulting people that can make a contributions to solving our national problems but definitely not in the waqt of Jum’ah. They can be entertained in other halls and other circumstances but the thing is insulting to us that the person who has carried the tag of being involved in drug dealing, (not coming from the Muslims but coming from the expelled member of the cabinet as well as a member of the party to which the person belong. Shukran.

Q: I have a question here for Imam Al-Asi. While I support and sympathise with a body like HAMAS in Palestine I cannot reconcile the bus bombings that contain women and children being Jew with Islamic behaviour of justice. Imam Al-Asi, please elaborate.

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: The question is a very good example of how the public mind begins to draw broad conclusions from what is said in the media. Here’s a very good example of what I said- the soft spot in us (when) we try to take a position to defend our own lives our own selves. HAMAS or any other Islamic committed fighters don’t target any civilians, they don’t target women, they don’t any innocent individuals, children, babies, etc. They target is purely a military target. It may be that there are women who are in uniform and because they are in uniform they become legitimate military targets. They are defined by the duty that they do. If they are in the army, in the navy, in the air force or any other type of military services that they are in then they become military targets. Obviously children are not military targets and if there is some type of Yahudi propaganda that wants to convince you that Muslims are killing innocent children- don’t believe that for a moment.

Q: I think we have to address this question to Imam Al Asi on a personal level. What is happening to Al Masjid Al Aqsa? In light of what is happening to Al Masjid Al Aqsa I think we should direct our funds there. Can you enlighten us on what is happening in Al Masjid Al Aqsa as far as the restrictions are concerned?

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: As with every Islamic issue similar to the one in Palestine there are different institutions, associations, etc. that Muslims constitute. Masjid Al Aqsa has it’s own waqf arrangement and, (as far as I know and as far as I can tell you), I am not very much concerned with financing a waqf arrangement as much as I would be concerned with financing the Muslims who stand for the inviolability or for the sacredness and for the protection of Al Masjid Al Aqsa; that is precisely what the committed Islamic organisations in Palestine are doing. They are thinking about trying to be forthcoming towards what concerns Al Masjid Al Aqsa. Think about these brothers and sisters who are not involved in the waqf of the Masjid but are involved in many other areas to protect that Masjid.

Q: I’ve got a question for Imam Musa. What is the fate of Imam Umar imprisonment in the USA? What active measures are been taken by the Ummah of the USA to relieve him of his plight and suffering?

Imam Musa: JazakAllahu khayr. Right now the case of Shaykh Umar Abdur Rahman is headed towards an appeal. The Muslims right now are writing letters to the court, are writing letters to the congress- which Allah knows best- but it probably will not do much good but that’s the step that’s being taken right now of the move to try to get him a new trial and to try to get him out on bail, by appeal. One thing I’d like to say about Shaykh Umar Abdur Rahman is that I think by now he is at Springfield which is a Federal prison. Now in the Federal prison system eventually they have to let him out to what they call a mainline (or) the general population where he mixes with the rest of the Muslims. Now, in every prison in America there are a Jama’ahs and in the Federal system there are strong Jama’ahs. In every Federal prison in the United States, the way we see his incarceration is that the Federal government has made a very big mistake. What we mean by that is it’s just like Yusuf (alayhi as salaam) who went to prison. He actually served for the betterment of humanity. In those prisons you have more committed people who come out of prison then who come out of society; in fact the people who come out of prison are less fearful of the system than the rest of the Muslims. Six months or close to one year of being able to spend time with the Shaykh- the learning of grammar, the Tafseer of the Qur’an, Islamic history- all the movement and the lessons and the teachings- in a prison, (even three or four months), if they stay around the Muslims which they will have to do, (even six months), each one of those persons who study under him will be able to spread the light of Islam throughout the prison system because what they do is after seeing what is happening they shift everybody our so these guys have been studying with the Shaykh, so they ship them to (and) they ship them to Lampard, they ship them to Atlanta (and) all these different prisons and that person goes to that prison and teaches everyone else in that prison. Within two or three years time they would have the whole Federal prison system! Yeah- if they would go back to court and they would go to a County jail waiting for some old keys. They’ll be sitting in a County jail teaching those guys in those cells. Then they go to some County and teach those guys. What they have done, (from our understanding, we feel very bad about the situation but we’ve seen it happen before), the very deen that they wanted to stop and prevent (is what) they might ignite because outside he’ll have a limited audience but inside insha’Allah he’ll have a wide audience and there’re less government informers in prison too! Yeah. Can you imagine how low it is to pay someone $1million to set someone up? You know they haven’t got a case! To pay someone $1million to set up a blind man shows you how far justice has sunk in America.

Arabic should be the international language of the Muslims or the lingua franca of the Muslims. It should be the communication of the Muslims beside the only contact of the Qur’an through intermediary translations. So we would encourage all Muslims to learn Arabic but we should be swindled into thinking that if we don’t know Arabic we can’t be a good Muslim. In fact most of the people who have left the United States to go to study Arabic, especially in Saudi Arabia, have came home crazy. Almost everybody in my mind who I know went over there; literally not everybody but I’d say ninety per cent of the brothers that go overseas to study Arabic come home mad! What they do is not practical anymore! What they say is not practical anymore! They look at us as though they are superior. And they pass around and they deal with pronunciation, “brother- the salah you say it like a Pakistani wa laz’zaa, you should have said dhaa, wa lad’dhaa…” I say “you’re right brother.” This is what happens to us. Now everyone is studying Arabic. They have something like that. We should study. Remember brothers and sisters, knowledge is so important to help us grow and help us keep focused but if you don’t have the Arabic language, there is so many books and so much literature nowadays that we can go into. There’s many Tafseer of the Qur’an. When a human being translates he’s going to miss something, he’s going to put maybe too much of himself or herself into something but we can still get the basic essence of Islam. So we should study that and in the process ask Allah to help us learn the Arabic language.

MC: Can we now have a final question and then we will close insha’Allah.

Q: As salaamu alayium. We have been listening to the truth. Do we formulate a public movement or enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong or we sit around and close our moths or address other things? Do we do something? That question- to the entire panel here, what do we do?

MC: OK- We have Imam Cassiem to answer this.

Imam Cassiem: It’s a very important question. Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem. It is not difficult for us to realise what we should do. Number one- our greatest enemy is our ignorance. So we need to acquire the necessary knowledge; but we must not only acquire it individually but collectively and therefore our unity is the second most important point. Now, it just happens to be the case that I am the Chairman of the Islamic Unity Convention and they’re into their third year of existence now. They’ve managed to unite at least two hundred and ninety two Muslim organisations nationally. There’s been an increase of fifty percent since the last AGM which just ended on the 22nd of September which means thirty eight new organisations have signed up. Here is an example of where decisions are taken, resolutions are taken and they are implemented. Some of those resolutions will apply to all of us, for e.g., that we need to have an accurate idea of how many Muslims there are in the country. What are their requirements? What are the resources available? And then to utilise that to get us moving collectively. The third point is, of course, that there must be a leadership elected by the people so that this leadership can be held accountable. That is the only way that we can move forward. So if there are any Muslim organisations present here who are not members of the Islamic Unity Convention, you may ask for a complete report of the AGM and you may attend any of their meetings either as constituent members or as members. Our goal is to unite all the Muslim organisations under one platform in order to speed up this process of change. Shukran.

MC: According to the house we’ll have closing comments.

Imam Musa: Of course, a meeting like this does not solve problems. A meeting like this is to get people fired up, to get people enthusiastic (and) to bring people to consciousness. A public forum like this can’t solve problems in this room tonight but when we were talking, we talked about something called leadership. There’s a hadith from the Prophet that he enjoined five things on us: jama’ah, that is to be a hizb or party, number two, discipline or listening; number three, and obeying; number four, hijrah; number five, jihad. We talked about Islamic leadership. One thing we can do at a forum like this is we can recognise leadership…

We desire to expand and build on the designation of the day of Al Quds (designated by the late Imam Al Khomeini to be commemorated on the last Friday of Ramadhan in recognition of the suffering meted out to the Palestinians and the oppressed peoples of the world), and will be insha'Allah be running a weekly additional Khutbah on Al Quds. We pray that Allah raises the awareness of people regarding the suffering of the people of Quds and the other oppressed peoples so that the designation of the last Friday to ensconce the realities in the lives of oppressed people in our minds will culminate into a daily occurrence.

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