Where Do You Belong, Dunya Or Akhirah?

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Jumada' al-Ula' 15, 1441 2020-01-10

There’s a couple of ayat in the nature of these developments that have been taking place recently that soothe the heart and relax the temper and show the way. The first ayah, Allah (swt) says,

وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ‌ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

And We are going to test you with a small/insignificant amount of fear, hunger, by a deficiency or a lack of money, persons or lives and agricultural outputs or produce and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 155)

This ayah tells us (that), Allah, in His inimitable words, says that, indeed, we are going to be subjected to some very hard trying times and issues. Those who are familiar with the construct of the language, the verb nablu’wannakum has 2 emphasizers on it: the laam before it and the noon after it. Some people who live in life thinking that they are not going to be affected by the challenges in life read the Qur’an (and) they read this ayah and they pass along as if it doesn’t relate to reality. So in times like this when we go through the types of impediments and obstacles and challenges that we are going through, one of the first things that should be repeated in our thinking minds is, the meanings of this ayah. And then listen to the wording of the ayah. Allah, Most Exalted be He, says,

وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ

And We are going to test you with a measure, with a semblance of fear… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 155)

Allah (swt) didn’t say wa la’nablu’wannakum bi al-khauf, and We are going to put you to tests with fear, by fear. No! He says,

وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ

And We are going to test you with a proportion of fear… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 155)

There are people who are obsessed (and) they feel fear all the time and this is not in the spirit of our character. If we are Qur’anic Muslims (or) if we are divine Muslims (or) if we are prophetic Muslims, we know that anytime this issue of fear comes along, it is a passing issue. And some people they exhaust themselves before something fearful happens! Before it happens, they begin to fear! What’s this fear about? Nothing has happened! OK- there’s a danger coming next week, (or) next month, (or) next year - why are you fearing before the event even happens?

There are two Qur’anic words, (I think that maybe you’re familiar with (or) maybe you’re not; I don’t know), one of them is khauf (fear), the other one is gham. And some people they just combine the two and make it seem like they are the same words. Khauf/fear is (when) you’re afraid of something you know but gham is when you are afraid of something you do not know. And you’ve read and repeated and listened to, (who knows how many times), Allah says,

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Indeed Allah’s awliya’ harbour no fear nor do they grieve. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

How many times has this occurred in your reading of the Qu’ran? Many times! One of the ayat,

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

There’s no fear on the awliya of Allah; they have no fear in them. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

Al huzn has to do with the past - the immediate past or the distant past and fear has to do with the future - the immediate future or the distant future.

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

So, Allah’s people (people belonging to Allah) have no fear on them and they have no fear in them. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

Another ayah, there are two ayat that, (I guess,) immediately come to mind,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

O You who are committed to Allah, be patient for Allah is with those who are in this position of patience, and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

The ayah begins by,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا

O You who are committed to Allah… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

Allah is calling on alladhina ‘amanu. Allah calls on different segments of mankind in the Qur’an. He says, Ya Bani Adam, Ya Ayyuha an-Nas, Ya Ayyuha ar-Rasul, Ya Ayyuha al-Kafirun. When Allah says, Ya ayyuha alladhina ‘amanu in the overwhelming majority of ayaat in the Qur’an what is going to follow is some responsibility. Allah is expecting from alladhina ‘amanu to behave in a certain manner. There is some type of assignment that is to follow. So Allah doesn’t give this assignment to those who are before iman! Allah never says to an-naas to fast!

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ

You who are divinely committed, fasting has been assigned to you... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 183)

As an example. He didn’t say yaa ayyuha an-naas kutiba alaykum as siyaam. It is this rank of iman that makes us responsible for certain obligations. So in this ayah, Allah is saying,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

You who are divinely committed, ask help by sabr and by salat, and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

All of us pray and in our Fatiha, we say

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

It is You, Allah, Who we comply with or conform to and it is You Who we ask for help and assistance. (Surah Al Fatihah verse 5)

In this ayah, ask yourself, if you are reading the Fatiha every day, many times, you don’t say na’budu Allaha wa nasta’inu bi al-sabr?! We say,

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

It is You, Allah, Who we comply with or conform to and it is You Who we ask for help and assistance. (Surah Al Fatihah verse 5)

(In) the other ayah Allah is telling us, to seek help by patience, not to seek help by Him. This is the equivalent of what we mentioned in the previous khutbah, (I guess it was last week or the week before), (where) Allah subhanah says in one ayah,

وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّه

... protect yourself against Allah... (Surah Al Hashr verse 18)

In another ayah, He says,

فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱلنَّارَ

... protect yourself against the Fire (or) guard yourself (or) have a shield between you and Allah’s justice. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 24)

And Allah’s Justice requires the penalty of the fire. So we understand now how we can combine ittaqu Allah and ittaqu al nar. Here, Allah (swt) is saying,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ‌ۚ

You who are divinely committed, ask help by sabr and by salat, and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

And then in the other ayah we are asking Allah Himself

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

It is You, Allah, Who we comply with or conform to and it is You Who we ask for help and assistance. (Surah Al Fatihah verse 5)

which means nasta’inu bi Allah is nasta’inu bi as-sabr because part of Allah’s Mercy is this sabr. Some of us just don’t have it, unfortunately, even though Allah is educating us with His Words and with His Guidance. Now we’ll try to distill these meanings to make it easier to understand.

An average person like you and me approaches one of Allah’s awliya’…

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

So, Allah’s people (people belonging to Allah) have no fear on them and they have no fear in them. (Surah Yunus verse 62)

These two individuals know each other, so the person with the question asks the wali’, “Am I from the people of this world or am I from the people of al-Akhirah? Where do I belong? I want to know who I am? Which people I belong to: the people of dunya or the people of Akhirah?” And then the answer came that Allah’s Mercy is such that it is not up to one individual to judge another individual. In other words, (I’m explaining what he’s saying), “you’re coming to me to ask me to define you? With Allah’s Mercy (or) because of Allah’s Mercy, the definition of you, belongs to you. It doesn’t belong to me.” A person is his best judge. No one can judge you better than you can judge yourself. No one can understand you better than you can understand yourself. An ayah in the Qur’an that reinforces this meaning, (the wise man didn’t say this, I’m interjecting here to explain this).

بَلِ الْإِنسَانُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ

Rather man has a perception of himself and what he does. (Surah Al Qiyamah verse 14)

Al-insan, you and me, have a baseera, an insight to our own selves, better than anyone else. And this person, the wise man, the wali’, the scholar, the arif goes on and he says, (the scholar is telling the person who asked the question), “you can cheat people. You can, maybe, trick other individuals, but can you cheat yourself?! Can you trick yourself?!” And the person now is entering an area that he never thought of before. That’s right, I can probably deceive someone else, but I can’t fool myself. Therefore, it is up to you to understand whether you are the element- whether you belong to the people of the dunya or whether you belong to the people of al-Akhirah. “Now, let me give you something that will help you understand who you are. I don’t understand who you are; only you have what is necessary to understand who you are. If a person comes to you and he asks you for something; how would you feel towards that person? Another person, the following day, comes to you to give you something; how would you feel towards that second person who gave you something?” He’s helping him out, understanding his own self. There’s a pause (and) silence to give you time to review your own self. How do you feel? This is when you can go deep down inside your own self (and) measure who you are (or) have an internal feeling for who you are. It’s human nature. All of us have this human nature that if someone gives us something, we are happy. If someone takes away something from us, we don’t feel good about it. That’s part of this nafs al-ammarah. A nafs that is possessive. It wants. We speak in many of our khutbahs about the ultimate in this, which is power and wealth; that’s the ultimate of what you want to gain. So after this silence, you go inside yourself, you go into your heart, you go into your thoughts, and you feel out your own self. So the sage, the wali, tells the inquirer “if you feel comfortable with a person giving you something (or) providing you with something…” Whatever that thing is. It could be a prize, it could be a check; whatever it is. “If you feel satisfied and comfortable and relaxed and happy with that, you belong to the people of the world. When a person comes to you and asks you for something and you give him whatever that is that you have - it doesn’t matter (if it’s) a small amount (or) a large amount, and you feel happy about that (and) you are comfortable with that, then you belong to the people of al-Akhirah.”

Now, if Allah comes asking you,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ

Allah has made a trade agreement with people that He will buy from them their lives and their possessions, and He will give them al-Jannah… (Surah At Tawbah verse 111)

What is more precious to give than someone’s life and someone’s belongings? What is there that you can give that is more valuable than that? Indeed, if you give that, then you are from the people of al-Akhirah- that’s where you belong (and) that’s where your heart and your self always were located even though your body is in this world. This is where we are physically- we are here in al-dunya. This person who asks the sage is not asking him where does my body belong? He’s asking him “where does my life belong? Where does my eternity belong?” And he helped him out. He gave him the answer. What do we say about a person who has given his life to Allah? He didn’t give something simple and how is the reception of Allah for those who given what they have for Him – the ultimate being one’s life?

I will repeat these two ayat in which this type of character belongs,

وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ‌ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

And We are going to test you with a small/insignificant amount of fear, hunger, by a deficiency or a lack of money, persons or lives and agricultural outputs or produce and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 155)

The other ayah,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

O You who are committed to Allah, be patient for Allah is with those who are in this position of patience, and in the course of all of this, break good news to those who are patient in these type of circumstances. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

Sabr is your incapacity to do what has to be done. That’s when as-sabr fills in.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

You who are divinely committed, ask help by sabr and by salat... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 153)

And the Prophet of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), in this context, the hadith says,

حفت الجنة بالمكاره، وحفت النار بالشهوات

أخرجه مسلم، كتاب الجنة وصفة نعيمها وأهلها

Al-Jannah is laced (or) is surrounded with things you, (meaning what your physical body) really don’t like to do, and the Fire is laced or surrounded with things you, (meaning what your physical body), wants (or) loves to do.

Dear committed brothers and dear committed sisters, ayyuhul mu’minoon, ayyatuhal mu’minaat…

Allah (swt) has blessed us with having the required perseverance with the evil out of Arabia. When the Prophet of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him and his) spoke highly of al-Shaam and al-Yemen,

اللهم بارك لنا في شامنا ، اللهم بارك لنا في يمننا

صحيح البخاري

and he repeated that.

فقالوا: وفي نجدنا يا رسول الله

صحيح البخاري

And those who are listening, asked, well, how about our Najd? And he was silent. And they persisted, they wanted to know, how about our Najd?!

وهناك يطلع قرن الشيطان

صحيح البخاري

He said out of Najd, will appear the generation of Satan. We’ve been fortified with this divine, guiding patience towards that generation of as-Shaitan.

We’ve been following in previous khutbahs, some of the judicial decisions concerning the detainees and the prisoners in that Kingdom. One of these patience-requiring developments (is that) in the past few days a prominent scholar, Salman al-Awdah, has gone on, (what you may call), abstinence from meeting even with his own relatives and other people. You know there are prison visits (where) you can visit a prisoner. He said “I don’t want to see anyone.” That is because he had prepared (or been) writing his own defense on his own papers and then these wardens in the prison came and they dispossessed him of his own defense (on) his own papers and as a gesture of objection he doesn’t want to see anyone. The last we heard, he was supposed to appear in court towards the end of November. What we heard recently, it’s been postponed until the end of January, I guess it’s the 30th of January. This keeps on repeating itself and the Muslims- some, not all Muslims, obviously, and not just Muslims, (but) some committed Muslims- want to have good relations with Saudi Arabia!?

In the past few days that Saudi Satanic regime said that it has apprehended a dangerous terrorist in one of the cities in the eastern part of that land of Al-Qatif. Then the Saudi ministers have a meeting and in that meeting they call on the international community to guarantee the stability of the area. Brothers and sisters, after all of these years anyone, anywhere, who has any confidence in that ghost called the international community is not living in the real world. We remember (how) every time (when) Yasser Arafat was in a crisis or in a tight spot, he would yell out, saying the international community and international law, and international this, and international that and we’re still being fed that same rhetoric, and that same copout, and that same excuse.

And then, the ex-ambassador of that kingdom to Washington was here this week. He flew in. That’s the same ambassador who, on his watch, one of his countrymen was chopped to death in their diplomatic mission, their consulate, in Istanbul. Well this guy comes to this country (and) no one’s speaking about apprehending him for being an accessory to an international crime that they have tried to whitewash away. And he meets with the Secretary of State and what do they tell us they are discussing? They’re discussing peace and stability in the area, meaning in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula- in that general geography. Do they think we have not grown up?! We are still babies?! They’re discussing peace and stability?! They’re discussing the aftermath of this extrajudicial assassination that they have been trying for some time now and they finally executed it.

Then we have Saudi Arabia now (proposing another council). On the eastern part of that Kingdom from hell they have the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council) made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain. Now, on their western flank, on the Red Sea, they are proposing another council to be made up of 8 nation-states: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. This is not their plan. This is not their strategy. This is something they are told to do!

In this past week, ballistic missiles were fired from Yemen into that trouble-making Kingdom that has poisoned the Muslims from one side of the world to the other.

Just in the past 24 hours, Spain said that it has uncovered the most serious financial crime in its history. They found that some weapons dealers in Spain were paid (I guess it was in the past 8 or 10 years) over Euros100 million as bribes by the Saudis, included among them was the Saudi military attaché in Spain. And these Saudis want the Muslims to believe there is something holy about them! There is something hellish about them, not holy!

And then, due to this “Saudization” policy, (we spoke about it previously, at least a few times), they want jobs there to belong to Saudis, not to Pakistanis, or Egyptians, or Nigerians, or other non-Saudis. They want “Saudization” of the labor force. Towards that end, a notice went up this past week that they need 20,000 Saudi taxi drivers, and then preferably females. This is in their notice and they mentioned a couple of female taxi drivers taking mu’tamirin and hujjaaj in Makkah and here and ther, etc.

What else do we have as a consequence or a result of that Saudi Kingdom poisoning the Muslim peoples? In that general area, we have in the past solar year, 2019, 29,000 Zionist Yahudis who have illegally (and) offensively gone into al-Masjid al-Aqsa- 29,000 in this past year. Why doesn’t this become a major news item? Why does this not circulate in the Muslim public mind? You know we have some people who are in charge of the media. Why don’t they flash this type of information periodically to the Muslims of the world? Why is there silence?!

The Speaker of the House here, Pelosi, says “she doesn’t think, as a consequence of what the President did, there’s going to be more stability and more peace in that tormented region of the world, in the Muslim East. This doesn’t come from a Muslim, it doesn’t come from a radical, it doesn’t come from some type of leftist or whatever you want to call those who disagree with American foreign policy. Another official who used to be in the White House before the current occupant of the White House, in the Obama administration, says that the assassination that took place last week in Iraq is going to set that area on fire.

A foreign minister, (I don’t want to mention the name), in an Islamic Republic, said that they are pursuing an international legal channel… Here we go again! It reminds me of the late Mr. Arafat pursuing international legal channels as a consequence to the assassination that took place last week.

The Pentagon has cancelled military exercises in Morocco. If the Middle East, (as they call it), is more stable now than it was before, then why are you cancelling a military exercise on the high seas, or strictly among the militaries of two allied countries? It goes to show you their own contradictions.

And last but not least, I want to make a remark- during the funeral ceremonies that took place this week in the Islamic Republic, the Imam in the Islamic Republic, (some Muslims up until this day don’t have what it takes to just combine those two words: the Imam and the Islamic Republic)… You know, leaders of countries speak the language of their people. People in Iran speak Farsi and obviously he spoke Farsi. But in addition to that he spoke the language of the Qu’ran- he also spoke in Arabic. You think about this for a small moment and compare it to the decision makers, the leaders, the presidents, the kings in other Muslim countries. If there’s an interview or there’s some type of speech they want to give they’ll speak in Arabic. Many of them will read. They can’t speak from their mind because they don’t have a mind! They’ll read a script in Arabic and then show off- they take pride- by saying something in French, or in English. Here they are! This is the language of the Qur’an and the Prophet and they show off by throwing in a word or a sentence in another language and here we have an Imam who speaks, obviously, the language of his own people but if he dare go to another language, it is the language of Allah and His Prophet.

This khutbah was presented by Imam Muhammad Asi on the occasion of Jum’ah on 10 January 2020 on the sidewalk of Embassy Row in Washington D.C. The Imam previously led the daily and Jum’ah prayers inside the Masjid. His speeches were revolutionary and thought provoking, and eventually irritated and threatened the Middle-East Ambassadors who control the Masjid. Finally, the Imam, his family, and other Muslims faithful to the course of Islam were forced out, into the streets. This khutbah originates from the sidewalk across the street from the Islamic Center, currently under seige.

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