Unity and Islamic self-determination

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Jumada' al-Ula' 22, 1431 2010-05-07

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,

There’s an ayah in Surah Al Ankabut- the second ayah. OK- we are going to place our minds in this ayah. This ayah says

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

Do people think or reckon or figure that they are going to be left alone just to say “we are Mu’minin without being subjected to the tests of the times and the pressures of the powers that be or without being placed in difficult position life? (Surah Al Ankabut verse 2)

This is a question. Do people think this is the case? The question infers that this is not the case. You’re not expected by Allah to mumble the words of iman and then carry on without the challenges/difficulties that you will encounter in life. Before we jump to the conclusion, Muslims who commit themselves to Allah there-by becoming Mu’minin do so with an air of innocence. No one becomes a Muslim with a hot head on the first day- that doesn’t occur. When we become Muslims we do it with an open heart and a relaxed mind. There’s no fanaticism/intimidation/hostility about Islam. We acquiesce to Allah. But when we do this according to its principles/meanings, we can’t expect to be left alone. That is what this ayah is saying. In other words the meaning of the fitna that is located in this ayah is a substantiation/verification of your iman. So what happens if we encounter/meet/interact with those who put on a pictorial of iman? They have the imagery of committed Muslims- whether they are males/females- there’s an image to a committed Muslim. So we have many people who have these images, but you should ask “are they under the pressure that comes with the responsibilities of committing your life/efforts to Allah?” Is that the case?

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ

Certainly we have brought these challenging circumstances and details of life to peoples and societies a foretime… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 3)

This is nothing new. You, me and every other individual here-and-there think you are the first one who feels the pressure?! Allah is telling you no-no-no. Don’t think that even for a moment.

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ

There has been many (or) multitudes of others before you who have felt this pressure and more so that Allah may know those who are truthful to this iman (or) commitment and those who are false or liars. (Surah Al Ankabut verse 3)

Allah knows. Allah is the All Knowing, but it is the portion of our commitment to Allah that has to stand as a testimony in the presence of Allah on the Day of Judgement- that’s what counts. We are who we are not by dreaming/intellectualizing. We are who we are by what we do. There’s where the verification is. OK- that’s the general meaning of this ayah.

We go from this ayah to a few hadiths of Allah’s Prophet. One of these hadith says there will continue to be a segment of my Ummah steadfast on the haqq and it’s not going to be harmed by those who take issue with it or its not going to be damaged by those who oppose it. In another rendition of this same hadith: there will continue to be a group in my Ummah who are steadfast and who will take a public position pertaining to al haqq until the final hour arrives. Every generation has this element in it. Now this hadith is different from the other so-called hadiths. We don’t consider this to be a hadith in which they say that the Prophet says Al Yahud were divided into seventy one-or-so sects/denominations/schisms and An Nasara are divided into seventy two-or-so sects (or) denominations (or) schisms and the Muslims (or) My Ummah, (according to their quote of the hadith) is going to be divided into seventy three sects or denominations or schisms and all of them are going to perish or suffer except for those who adhere to me and my sunnah- however the narrative of that hadith is. Because this hadith is quoted so much, it is timely to see and to say why this hadith may not be a hadith. We know that the Prophet compliments the Qur’an. The Prophet doesn’t contradict the Qur’an. If we take the word Ummah which is used in this hadith… The Prophet says my Ummah is going to be divided/spilt into seventy three (whatever you want to call them), branches or denominations, etc. This is a negative description/piece of information about the Ummah of the Prophet. In the Qur’an, when the word Ummah refers to the Ummah of the Prophet (it) is always positive. The word Ummah occurs many times but when it refers to the Ummah of the Prophet it is positive. So we ask ourselves is it possible that Allah refers to the Ummah of the Prophet in a positive way in the Qur’an and then the Prophet himself refers to his own Ummah in one of these hadiths in a negative way? We don’t think so. Allah says concerning this Ummah that we are speaking about

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best Ummah to take an interactive position with other peoples of the world… (Surah Aal Imran verse 110)

The best Ummah.

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ

Let there be from amongs you, the followers of Muhammad, an Ummah that calls to al khayr… (Surah Aal Imran verse 104)

That’s a positive. We can go to the other ayaat in the Qur’an and see how the Qur’an speaks about the Ummah of Muhammad in a positive way. So how come here, Muhammad himself is speaking in a negative way? This is an indicator that this quote is questionable. Besides, if you take a look at the divisions that are in An Nasara. According to what they call a hadith here, there are going to be seventy two but when you look at their divisions, they’re in the hundreds. This is another question mark pertaining to those who say that this is a hadith sahih. Verify that for us. Then, the other question mark about the attribution of this statement to the Prophet is that “is the Prophet pessimistic about his own Ummah?” You sense an air of pessimism that this Ummah of his is even worse then Al Yahud and An Nasara?! The Yahud are better- there’s seventy one different segments. The Nasara are better- there are seventy two different segments. Here come the Muslims with seventy three different segments to them. They are worse than even Al Yahud and An Nasara. Does the Prophet speak in such away about his Ummah?! So there’s a question mark about this. Back to the original quote from the Prophet in which he says there will remain a taifah of the Prophet’s Ummah who will abide/defend/promote al haqq and they are not going to be damaged by those who take issue with them. Many times we find the courage to do this in those who dedicate their lives to Allah. Some of them may be people of knowledge and a scholarly status and others may just be the average person.

Let us quote a hadith Qudsi. It’s a little long but it is alright if we learn. It says Allah is saying whoever becomes an enemy of the wali’ of mine… Now of course you’re going to ask what is meant by wali’? It is one of these words that is very hard to bring into a language that has broken from God a long time ago. A wali’ has the meaning of a follower/confidant/premier. If you can put all those words together in one word, you will come out with the meaning of wali’. Allah has His awliya’. There is an ayah in the Qur’an that says

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

… for sure you don’t have to fear for the awliya’ of Allah. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

That’s one of the meanings. The other one is that

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

They themselves have no fear in their lives and they don’t grieve. They commit themselves to Allah and within that light of al iman they have the quality of taqwa. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

Taqwa is always being conscious of Allah’s power at work in your life here and now. So the Prophet of Allah says in the hadith Qudsi whoever becomes an enemy of a wali’ of Mine then I put him on notice or I inform him of a war… You and me are in a creational mode, subjects of Allah- and Allah is saying the best or easiest way we can become close to Him or approach Him is to do His will... What is this fard upon us?

إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ

All of what is fard upon us is included in the Qur’an that has been revealed to us… (Surah Al Qasas verse 85)

So the best way to become close to Allah is to become the Qur’an in the flesh/behaviour/motion. … And My subject continues to approach Me and coming close to Me doing voluntary beyond the fard... In the spirit of the Qur’an there’s extra things that you can do. … And you keep on doing those extra things until Allah loves you… So it’s not only the fard that you are doing. Some of us have the technical mind and say “al fard is as salah.” Yes, salah is a fard. Some of us say “Al fard is az zakah. Al fard is fasting.” All of these are fard but a fard is one that is done with a spirit and a soul. Let us assume for a moment someone put together a robot and taught that robot all the motions that we go through. So when the robot listens to the adhan he goes to the Masjid and to the salaah. When the robot knows that Ramadhan is coming the robot doesn’t eat/is not fuelled/charged anymore and (it) does the same mechanical things that everyone else does. (Do) you think that robot has a place in al jannah/paradise? How come you cannot admit a robot into paradise but you can think of human beings who have become robots who will go to al jannah? Allah says … if I like/adore this Abd I will become the ear by which he hears/listens... Now if we have some minds that are technical and that are just unbelievable types of minds, they take these things literally!? You can’t take this literally! God becomes your ear!? That’s not what He’s saying. God becomes your eye in the physical sense?! No! These are cells and tissues that form our body. What happens is that you begin to hear what Allah wants you to hear. There’s a lot of noise in this world. You can tune in to/out of many things. You can observe some things but not other things; but once Allah adores you then your hearing is tuned into what Allah wants you to hear, your eyes are tuned into what Allah wants you to observe, your hand begins to do what Allah wants it to do and your leg/foot become the instruments that walk in the path of Allah. We have some calcified minds that if they take this hadith literally they say “how can this be?” That’s one of the problems that we Muslims are suffering from i.e. the literal understanding of some of the ayaat and some of the hadiths such as this hadiths. In other words, if we do what we do, (you can do whatever you do), if Allah dwells in your intention/in the core of your heart/mind, what you are doing i.e. every effort you do in life you do it with the will of Allah so Allah becomes part of you. We’re not saying that Allah becomes a physical human being. The hadith is not saying that. No Muslim in his right mind says that. Then, at this time i.e. after you’ve done the fara’id/nawafil with a spirit/soul, not like a robot, then Allah becomes your senses, (in a sense). Some people say “I make du’a. I ask Allah. I do this and that and I don’t hear any answer. I don’t see any results.” We’re sure in your life you’ve come across some of these types. Well here is a partial answer to that type of question. Are they absorbed/assimilated to Allah? If they are, Allah says here, via His Prophet … at this point/time if My male/female subject asks Me, I will definitely give him... You see- (with) the construct in Arabic there is too much emphasises in this sentence: wa la inla u’tiyanna … and if he seeks refuge with Me I will offer him shelter and refuge/protect him… And then listen to the last sentence of this hadith Qudsi. Allah says at this point when Allah becomes the embedded will in this human being who is the subject of Allah, (now please brothers and sisters- don’t take this literally), I have never hesitated in doing anything I did as much as I hesitated to have my subject expire meaning die. In other words Allah hesitates to take his soul away from his body because he’s committed to Allah. Why does He hesitate to do that? Because He says My subject dislikes the moment of death and I dislike disappointing him. If we absorb these meanings, we begin to understand that whatever may happen in life, (what is there that could happen? Think. Whatever it is. The worst case scenario that comes to your mind), it’s trivial/meaningless when you are in the presence and company of Allah. Everything. As harsh/hard/tough/painful as it maybe, (whether it is a psychological/physical pain), it is not going to endure forever. It will pass and it will become part of your past and you will remain there in the presence of Allah. That is why He says you live your life in His presence and He did not want to take you away from His presence, so He hesitates at your moment of death because He doesn’t want to disappoint you. If we had these meanings in our lives/everyday assignments/jobs/efforts/ endeavours/labour/work if we have this attitude, then we can understand Allah when He says

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Oh but the awliya’ of Allah don’t experience any fear and grief. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

Whatever happens, happens with the grand calculations of the Almighty. Nothing happens just out of nowhere the way it does. On another occasion, when there’s another type of pressure i.e. military/warfront pressure, the Munafiqin in society look at the Muslims and say look they put themselves in trouble. Now look- the whole world’s turning against them. We told them don’t go that route/don’t set yourself up with these enemies. This is what the Munafiqin/image Muslims/kafirs who are camouflaged with Islam come to Muslims and say. When the Prophet himself was preparing his last military campaign in Tabuk- hundreds of miles away North of Al Madinah- these Munafiqin came with their attitude. They were telling some people oh it’s too hot. You are going to war? This is a long distance. Brothers and sisters- walking from Al Madinah to Syria is a long distance especially if you want to do that under the scorching sun of Arabia. So these Munafiqin come to the Muslims who have commitment and have Allah with them/by them/for them and say where are you going? It’s too hot.

قُلْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ أَشَدُّ حَرًّا

… say to them: but the fire of jahannam has more heat to it… (Surah At Tawbah verse 81)

They come to the Muslims if the Muslims don’t score a victory out-and-out and say you see, if you listened to us you wouldn’t have suffered those consequences of reversal at the warfront. And the answer to that, (if we are looking at the larger picture), the world doesn’t begin and end with one affair. We look at the larger picture (and) we repeat Allah’s words

قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا

Say to them: nothing is going to happen to us except what Allah decrees to happen to us… (Surah At Tawbah verse 51)

So whatever comes our way we take that knowing that our time is limited here. We are on our way to Allah in an eternally sense and we know here in the transient presence in this world we are keeping the company of Allah and when we do that things begin to happen.

Brothers and sisters…

You and we know the circumstances/pressures that are here and now. They’re real. The powers that be, the establishments around, the Taghut don’t tire of their plans/schemes to thwart the Islamic coming. From week-to-week you hear new stuff. In the past few days the new idea that came to their mind, (meaning the politicians of this city here), “let’s think about stripping Muslims of their citizenship.” How many other ideas have they had? “Let’s deport them. Let’s incarcerate them. Let’s put them in solitary confinements. Let’s not issue visas to them.” There’s a whole sequence of these types of vile thoughts but it goes to show you how desperate they are. They’re not dealing with a Muslim here or there. They’ve had their hand in September 11th and everything after September 11th. They saw that Islam was the wave of the future so they wanted to ride this wave themselves! They saw that Muslims were beginning a new page so they wanted to throw their own ink on that page! How best to destroy Islam than to use Islam in destroy Islam?! It’s like a wild fire. You can’t put the fire out using water i.e. sending the helicopters/fire brigade everything- the fire keeps on moving. So how do you put an end to that fire? With fire. You begin to burn the areas all around the fire so that the fire doesn’t spread. So they took this idea. They looked at the Muslims and said “we’ll apply the same strategy. We will take this Islamic fundamentalism (these are their words) and we ourselves are going to recruit, become, direct or control and use Islamic fundamentalist to defeat the movement of Muslim throughout the world.” This is what we’ve been living and all the rest are details and history, (as they say). What we see happening today, here-and-now. Who knows what type of idea they’ll come out with next week, month (or) year? What do they want to do? Do they want Muslims in this country to begin to think about relocating to Muslim parts of the world? How do these people think that Muslims are going to think when they come to an American Muslim and say “you’re no longer an American. We now take away from you your citizenship.” Where is he going to go? If they make them into the hundreds or thousands and potential millions where do they think they’re going to go? They’ll find somewhere in the world and then they’ll deny you of your citizenship! But it might not be with a stroke of a legal pen. It might be in a method that is not to anyone’s liking, but that is what will happen. For those who have the will of Allah in them, they have the nur and the instructions from Allah to guide them.

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