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,
Obviously this khutbah on this day is meant to highlight and to highlight and to inform from Allah and His Prophet concerning what is happening in our circles of activity or in our range of knowledge. One of these issues that seems not to go away, which we are living with day and night, year after year from different sources of information, is that issue that wants to equate committed Muslims with bloody terrorists. We’ve tried, and we will continue to try, to kill this impression in the public mind. It is wrong, it is false, it is offensive and it is demeaning. No Muslim living today should feel like there is something negative or distractive or savage about his or her Islam- no one! These types of happenings (and) calculated events that are taking place in the Muslim world (and) at the frontiers of the Muslim world and outside of the Muslim world that want us to be inferior in our own selves have no basis on who we are. Brothers and sisters- the hadith is something that has to be scrutinised and it has to be evaluated in light of the word and the spirit of the Qur’an simply because there are many hadiths and some of them are contradictory. So when these accusers want to nail us to a hadith they want to pluck out a hadith that says the Prophet of Islam says I have been ordered to fight people until they witness there is no deity (and) authority except Allah. If a person scans this meaning of this hadith, he will find another hadith that says exactly the same thing except for one word. The other hadith says I’ve been ordered to fight the Mushriks until they bear witness that there is no deity (and) no authority except Allah. Obviously those who have it to damage Islam of ours are not going to go through the hadiths and are not going to put the hadiths in context and therefore they are not going to relate to the public, (and we are included in that public), the meanings of Allah’s Prophet’s hadiths. If we are not going to assume this task ourselves the world will continue on its current path of pointing fingers and the path of trying to legally incriminate Muslims because of the ayaat and the ahadith that Muslims belong to.
Take what is happening in today’s world. There are many instances in which we look around and we find that certain outrageous things are happening in an Islamic geographical area of the world. Civil strife, civil war, civil conflict- you can point to different areas there and certainly there are things that no human conscience, (not to speak about an Islamic conscience), can agree to or agree with. We don’t have to graphically reproduce for you what you see on TV or in the media (i.e.) some of these images that come to us from these conflicted areas in our Islamic territories of the world- those should be in your mind. Now we place that imagery besides the guidance that comes to us from Allah. When the Prophet of Allah dispatched a force of Muslims on military duties he said to them, (this is reported in the books of hadith) set out or commence your military duty in the name of Allah on a course to Allah; they are on a path to Allah so they engage those who are in conflict with Allah. You don’t betray in this effort, you don’t stab anyone in the back and you don’t mutilate the bodies of those who have fallen in warfare and you don’t kill an infant or a baby or a child. Now how are we to be judged as Muslims? We’re talking about our commitment to Allah and His Prophet? Are we to be judged by the principles and the values and the standards that we understand from the ayaat and the ahadith or are we to be judged by criminal activities that are planned and plotted by those who are avowed enemies of Allah and His Prophet even though they may be executed by individuals or organisations that claim that they are Islamic? Where are we in this midst? Where do you fall? (In) this hadith that was just quoted which should be the guiding light in what is happening in the different areas in Africa and in Asia the Prophet of Allah says set out or commence your military duty in the name of Allah on a course to Allah. These people who are going out with this responsibility, when the military responsibility is due, are not on a course to a battle field. The Prophet of Allah is reminding them that they are on a course to Allah, they are on a path to Allah so they engage those who are in conflict with Allah; you don’t betray in this effort (which means) you don’t show any betrayal neither to Allah nor to the people on earth and (of course this is a translator’s license here), you don’t stab anyone in the back and you don’t mutilate the bodies of those who have fallen in warfare and you don’t kill an infant or a baby or a child. This is part of who we are. This is who we are. But then the images come along in today’s world and they present us with meanings that are the opposite of what was just stated of the Prophet’s hadith. Where are you? Where do you belong in all of this? Do you belong to Allah and His Prophet? Or do you belong to some of these outfits that are macro managed by the Mushrikin, the dhalimeen- in today’s parlance, by the hegemonic Imperialists and the racist Zionist powers- that’s just breaking it down into the general meanings of today. Where are you in this? When the first successor to Allah’s Prophet succeeded Allah’s Prophet there were eruptions of a military nature, things called hurub ar ridda and they were numerous in those couple of years after the Prophet’s passing away. He would say to the commanders or any commander you will find people who claim they have devoted their private lives to Allah. Some of them may be monks some of them may be lesser than that in their religious performances (but) they have promised their lives to Allah. I advise you of ten things. You never ever kill a woman. Now brothers and sisters- we are quoting this hadith and we are moving it’s meanings into the English language and we don’t want you to be absent minded of what is happening in today’s world by those who are saying “they have an Islamic orientation or they have an Islamic strategy or they belong to an Islamic orgaNisa’tion or an Islamic armed group of people.” Don’t forget this. I can’t intrude into the khutbah to fill in these details but have the meanings that are brought to your attention right now coupled with the imagery that is coming to you from all directions about how Muslims are supposed to be killers, murders, blood-thirsty warriors, etc. You never ever kill a woman and you never ever kill a young child and you never ever kill a person in his or her old age- seniors, elders, etc. and you never ever cut down trees or plants that bare fruit and you never ever destroy any building or construct and you never ever kill or maim livestock or an animal that is used for transportation and you never ever and you never ever burn down trees or date palm trees and you don’t betray anyone’s trust and you don’t ever act in a cowardly manner. Remember, these are military orders. Now we ask the conscience in you- when you see whatever you see that is being thought out and financed by the Mushrikin of our time and then implemented by certain people- they have Muslim names, they have Muslim affiliations (and) they have all of this stuff that in appearance is Islamic- do they meet the instructions in the ayaat, (that we’ve mentioned previously and we’ll mention again), and in the hadiths or the instructions that we are quoting here? Do they meet that or do they not meet that? Brothers and sisters- we are in one of the four months that are sacred, (i.e.), a zone of safety and security in the Muslim calendar al ash’hur al hurum. Dhul hijjah, (the month that we are in), provided some people are aware of the month that we are in! (With) the type of lives that we are living, many people just are aware that we are in the solar month of such and such calendar but they’re not aware that we’re in the lunar or the Islamic month of the hijri calendar. For those of you who are aware, you should also know that this month is one of the four months of total security. Even the pre-Islamic jahilis used to honour the security aspect of this month- something that today’s Muslims (don’t honour). We’re supposed to have Muslims in today’s world who are supposed to honour these meanings (but) not only are they breaking or dishonouring these meanings, they are doing so in this month of sanctity and the honour of life itself. Not only human life, all life. It’s because of these meanings that when Islam stepped out of the Arabian Peninsula the people that carried these meanings touched the hearts and the souls of people who were around- because of these meanings. In the first eighty years after Allah’s Prophet the Muslims were in lands and territories that were conquered by the Romans or the Byzantines throughout eight-hundred years. In eighty years the Muslims extended themselves into a geography that took eight centuries for European Colonialism at the time, (let’s approximate today’s world with that world), to be in. The people who became Muslims in that immediate geography became Muslims because they saw that this Islam speaks to their heart and to their minds. People wouldn’t have been responsive to Islam if Muslims were butchers (or) if Muslims were terrorists. It wouldn’t be a popular response. There has to be some explanation as to why droves and droves of people responded to this Islam. The explanation is that we don’t have the character that is being represented to the public today of who Muslims are. We never had that. We never were (and) we never will be terrorists but as we said previously we are not either wimps and we are not pacifists. We are not that extreme in this direction and we’re not of that extreme and that direction. It was this Islam that honoured the feelings in man, especially those that are called religious feelings. Muslims honoured the deepest feelings in human nature. We can say with humility, looking back at history and civilisation at that time, that we the Muslims made it possible for non-European Christians to honour their faith (i.e.) for the monotheist Christians to be what their heart wanted to be. The Qur’an itself says about the Torah (in) ayaat 44 and 46 of Surah Al Maa’idah- Allah’s final scripture speaks about the Torah, the book of the Yahud.
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ
… in it there is guidance and light… (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 44)
Ayah 46 of Surah Al Maa’idah speaks about the Gospel, Al Injeel
وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ
… in it there is guidance and there is light… (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 46)
So Islam did not and the Muslims who understood it were not confrontational with those who wanted to locate themselves in At Torah and in Al Injeel. There is nothing confrontational about this- something that some of today’s Muslims can learn a lot from. The Prophet of Allah sent a person by the name of Hatib ibn Abi Balta’a in the seventh year of the hijra with a message to Miqawqas- that was the title of the ruler in Egypt to speak to him- about Islam. Miqawqas was a Coptic Christian. Remember, in today’s world right now there is an attempt to get some type of tension and some type of warfare going on in Egypt between Muslims and Christians. What did Hatib ibn Abi Balta’a say to the potentate of Egypt, Al Miqawqas? We quote and it is that you have a deen in reference to Christianity. You will not leave it or you will not abandon it your deen except for something which is better than it, which is Islam. Allah will compensate with something better which you may have relinquished if you decide to move from Christianity to Islam. We’re paraphrasing and trying to breakdown the meaning for you- if your heart and your mind is convinced of this Islam in preference over your Christianity you’ll be exchanging something good for something better. (Do) you realise in these words there’s no conflict, there’s no tension (and) there’s no bad feelings? And the good news which Moses spoke of the coming of Jesus is like the good news that Jesus spoke of the coming of Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them and upon all Allah’s Prophets). Remember Hatib ibn Abi Balta’a is still speaking to the ruler of Egypt, he said it is in the same manner that you call upon the people of the Torah to accept Christianity that we call upon you to accept Islam. There’s no difference; meaning we are doing the same thing you are doing. Listen how moving this last sentence is (of) Hatib to Al Miqawqas is. We are not telling you to avoid the deen of the Messiah, we are ordering you to obey the deen of the Messiah. You don’t sense in any of this any bad feelings, any confrontation, any incriminating words- nothing of that sort. As we have mentioned previously and we restate it here again because this information doesn’t come easy; it’s not available. You can’t go back to textbooks and read about this. It’s not taught in the formal educational systems but a hundred years after Allah’s Prophet, of all the people who lived in Egypt and geographical Syria and Iran, of all those populations only about twenty percent of them were Muslim. I should think this factor alone should rest in your mind for a long time for you to think about it. Muslims were not there to impose or enforce Islam in the emotional and even in the mental realms of individuals or peoples. In the case of Egypt, (one of these places now where we have these trouble makers who are still behind the scenes planning their future troubles and mischief), around two-hundred years- to be precise a hundred-and-eighty-seven years after the hijrah seventy-seven percent of the people in Egypt became Muslim. Twenty-two percent were Christians and about one percent were Jews. This massive populous transformation was done by the conviction of peoples, communities (and) individuals themselves. It could be simply explained with so much contradiction in the internal context of the Christians themselves. The fact of the matter is the local or native people in these areas who were either Aramaic or Syriac or Coptic- but they were not Europeans, they were not Byzantines, they were not Greeks and they were not Hellenistic in their thinking; that Christianity, (as we said previously), when it went to Europe it was Europeanized. It wasn’t Europe that was Christianised! So when this new Europeanised Christianity wanted to come back to these areas, now we had intellectual problems, philosophical disputes and internal Church conflicts in which those who had power in Europe from Europe began to persecute the Christians who were in God’s good time to become Muslims through their own goodwill and freewill. This is part of who we are and this is attested to by scholars and researchers and orientalists who come from that context. Not only are Muslims speaking this, (if) you do your research on the subject you will see that the fair minded and objective researchers will tell you what is being said in this khutbah. (Is this) anything surprising? Waraqa ibn Nawfal, the Christian in Makkah who Khadijah (radi Allahu anha) the Prophet’s wife upon receiving the first words from Allah took him to Waraqa ibn Nawfal
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
Read/Proclaim in the name of your Lord who created. (Surah Al Alaq verse 1)
He knew from the unpolluted knowledge that he had that this is genuine, this is the word of God and the Heavens to humanity and he was positive.
Saying this brings up an important question and that is our internal character among ourselves, i.e. how we behave towards others is one issue (and) how we behave towards ourselves is another issue. One of these issues should never undermine the facts and the objectivity of the other issue. As all of this was unfolding in our interaction with “the world of the other” how were we behaving towards ourselves in that timeframe? We were at war with ourselves. This may have a positive meaning and it may have a negative meaning and it had both of these meanings included in it. The ayah in the Qur’an in Surah Al Hujurat
وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا
If there are two factions or two camps of Muslims who go to war against themselves, your duty is to reconcile them… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 9)
The first thing we learn from this ayah is that it is possible that something like that will happen. It has happened, it is happening and it will continue to happen. The issue as far as we are concerned is are we going to learn from our history, are we going to learn from our mistakes, are we going to learn from our experience (and) are we going to learn from Allah and His Prophet? This is the immediate issue that concerns us. Some people who have their own imposed understandings would think Mu’minum, committed Muslims, internal fighting?! It may happen.
وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا
If two camps of committed Muslims come to military blows against each other then (Allah says) the popular sentiment… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 9)
Allah is speaking right here not to the leaders of these two camps, He’s speaking to the popular sentiment, the heart of Muslim population, the masses of Muslims
… your duty now is to reconcile the differences that brought them to the warfront… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 9)
Now, in English, the internal fighting is done by the foot soldier- thousands (or) conceivable millions of people on both sides but the ayah doesn’t say you reconcile the millions of peoples to themselves, because that’s not possible. So the ayah didn’t say fa aslihu baynahum. It said fa aslihu baynahuma. The reconciliation has to be between the leaders on both sides.
… but if one side decides to continue its transgression against the other side then all of you… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 9)
Now Allah’s speaking to all of us
… become one force against the aggressive side… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 9)
Did this happen in our history? Yes, it happened. Will it happen in the future? Sure, it may happen. Let us end this portion of the khutbah by quoting Al Imam Ali (radi Allahu anhu) when the meanings of this ayah were exemplified at Siffin. He says we engage ourselves in the battlefield of Siffin. When he says we he is speaking about all the Muslims who were involved. He says our Sustainer is one and our Prophet is one and our expression of Islam as far as its objectives are concerned is one. This whole affair that we are all in is one except for the matter that has divided us pertaining to the blood of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu), (that’s in reference to the assassination of the third successor to the Prophet), while we, (meaning the side of Ali), are innocent from the shedding of that blood. We didn’t participate in that and we didn’t go to war with the people of Ash Shaam because of the impressions of what these, (in reference to what became known in Islamic history as Al Khawarij), have on their mind pertaining to at takfir and the internal divisiveness of this deen. We only fought against them so that we may have them return to al jama’ah. Now this is a most used word- al jama’ah. They are as far as our deen is concerned our brothers. Our Qiblah is one. Our perspective is that we abide by the truth to the exception of them and I sincerely plead and hope that anyone of us or anyone of them whose heart is pure and dies in this affair that Allah will cause him to enter Al Jannah. You take these hadiths and these ayaat and you put them together and then you juxtapose them with what is happening today. Do we have to be more precise and say look at what is happening in Syria with the potential of it spreading to other places. Put all the images, the words (and) the impressions that come your way from the media besides these ayaat and these ahadith and then position yourselves. Are you with the schemes of takfir and taqtil (i.e) the accusations of kufr and the mechanations of warfare that are plotted and planned by the Mushrikin and the Dhaalimeen of today and then implemented and executed by those who have Islamic images? Where do you belong in this- closer to Allah and His Prophet or closer to Washington and Tel Aviv?
Dear brothers, dear sisters, dear committed Muslims…
We think you all are aware that what we are seeing unfolding particularly in Bilad Ash Shaam is the tip of the iceberg. There is much more plans for shedding Muslim blood and unfortunately these plans dictate that Muslims do the shedding of their own blood. Right now these words Sunni and Shi’i are beginning to gain a life of their own. Only committed Muslims who are entrenched in reality are exempted from the sectarian spewing of what will lead to the fulfilment of the master Zionist Imperialist plan. Let us give you a demonstration of what we mean…
Some Muslims are hypersensitive. If that particular Muslim is a Sunni he is hypersensitive if you tell him “some other Muslim became a Shi’i” and you can look at it the other way around. Some Muslim who is a Shi’i is hypersensitive if he is told “a particular Muslim as a Shi’i became a Sunni.” We don’t know why that should be. If we honoured the freedoms that we lived up to pertaining to Christians and Jews, we can’t honour that same freedom when it comes to we the Muslims?! Let us tell you of an observation we’ve realised through these years. In the Sunni parts of the world it is made difficult for a Shi’i Muslim to go and speak his mind and conscience about Islam. It’s not an easy task- believe us. In some places if it is done with maturity and sincerity and brotherhood and love for the other it’s not a problem but unfortunately most of the time it’s not done like that; it’s done to score against the other. It becomes difficult. We want to repeat this. It’s difficult in many parts of the Muslim world for a person who is a Shi’i Muslim or who is a Muslim of the Shi’i persuasion to speak his mind and heart on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and things Islamic. In the Shi’i part of the Islamic world the difficulty is not in having a Sunni Muslim or a Muslim of the Sunni persuasion to go and speak his Muslim mind and heart on the Qur’an and Sunnah and things Islamic. The problem here is the Sunni literature its not made to circulate in the Shi’i populations. So on one side we have Sunnis who don’t want Shi’i scholars and on the other side we have Shi’is who don’t want Sunni books?! However way it manifests itself, this is something we have not out grown. A further illustration of this is a news article just a couple of days ago in Algeria- a Muslim country. Over ninety-five percent of the population is Muslim. Fifty Muslim Algerians every week are becoming Christians. If that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do- that’s where their heart is. But why is it that Muslims don’t show the same thoughts and feelings? This is a much more significant step. When a Muslim becomes a Christian it’s not like a Sunni becoming a Shi’i or a Shi’i becoming a Sunni. The leap here is much further and this process takes years. The Churches that are in Algeria who are supervising this- in the past four years six-thousand Algerians became Christians- is the Catholic Church. There’s a process of about four years to authenticate that that particular Algerian Muslim has become a Christian but this type of issue doesn’t play. Why is it that when a Sunni Muslim becomes a Shi’i Muslim or a Shi’i Muslim becomes a Sunni Muslim that plays and it plays to the sensitivities and the negative feelings among Muslims but this other subject doesn’t make it to the light of day? Once again, there’s a master plan. You either open your eyes and see what’s being planned or you do something else. This is not the time to go to sleep. It’s not the time for us to close our eyes. Our body is bleeding however way you look at it and when we hurt and when we are in pain we should be wide awake.