Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Videos: International Ulema Khilafah Conference

The videos of the event, note: most of the talks are in Arabic. The full playlist can also be seen on: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9046A50D18B395AA

Part 1:


Part 2:



Part 3:



Part 4:



Part 5:



Part 6:



Part 7:



Part 8:



Part 9:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Q&A: The triumphant group (At-Taifa az-zahira)

The following is a translation of an Arabic Q&A from the website of Sheikh Ata Abu Rashta, Ameer of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The triumphant group (At-Taifa az-zahira)

الطائفة الظاهرة

Question: There are several Ahadeeth about the “triumphant group,” what is the interpretation of these Ahadeeth? Does it apply to the ulema of Usool or the ulema of Hadith, as asserted in some sayings? Furthermore, we sometimes hear that this or that group says that it is the “triumphant group,” so how can we clarify this? May Allah bless you.

Answer: the answer to your question is twofold:
1: the interpretation of the Ahaadeeth about the “triumphant group.”
2: to deal with these Ahaadeeth.
There are a number of Ahaadeeth about the “triumphant group”:

Bukhari narrated from Al-Mogheerah ibn Sho’ba that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ يَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي ظَاهِرِينَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ ظَاهِرُونَ
“There will always be a group amongst my Ummah that will be triumphant and Allah will cause them to triumph.”

Muslim related from Thawbaan that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ كَذَلِكَ
“There will always be a group amongst my Ummah who is triumphant upon truth, abandoning them will not harm them, until the order of Allah is given and they will be like that (triumphant)”

Muslim related from Jabir ibn Abdullah that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ قَالَ فَيَنْزِلُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَيَقُولُ أَمِيرُهُمْ تَعَالَ صَلِّ لَنَا فَيَقُولُ لاَ إِنَّ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ أُمَرَاءُ تَكْرِمَةَ اللَّهِ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةَ
"There will always be a group, triumphant in fighting for Al-Haq until Day of Resurrection. Then will Isa ibn Maryam (as) will descend and he will be asked by their Ameer to lead the prayer, but he will reply, No, your ameer has to be from you and this is the Karamah of Allah.”

Muslim related from Jabir ibn Abdullah that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
وَلاَ تَزَالُ عِصَابَةٌ مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى مَنْ نَاوَأَهُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
"There will always be a group that will be triumphant upon the truth and will prevail on those who oppose them until the Day of Judgment."

Muslim related from Uqba bin Amir that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said
لاَ تَزَالُ عِصَابَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ عَلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ قَاهِرِينَ لِعَدُوِّهِمْ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ وَهُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ
"There will always be a group in my Ummah that will fight according to the order of Allah, victorious over their enemies and there will be no harm on them from there contradictors until the hour comes and they will be triumphant."

Muslim related from Mu'awiyah that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي قَائِمَةً بِأَمْرِ اللَّهِ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ أَوْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ ظَاهِرُونَ عَلَى النَّاسِ
"There will always be a group from my Ummah that will be steadfast on the order of Allah, they will not be harmed by those who oppose them or abandon them, until the order of Allah comes and they will be triumphant over humankind."

Tirmidhi related from Thawban that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ يَخْذُلُهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ
"There will always be a group from my Ummah that will be triumphant upon Haq, they will not be harmed by those who abandoned them until the order of Allah."

Abu Daud related from Imran ibn Hasseen that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى مَنْ نَاوَأَهُمْ حَتَّى يُقَاتِلَ آخِرُهُمُ الْمَسِيحَ الدَّجَّالَ
"There will always be a group from my Ummah that will fight on the truth, triumphant against those who oppose them and the last of them will fight the Dajjal."

Ahmad related from Jabir bin Abdullah that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
"There will always be a group from my Ummah that will fight upon truth until the Day of Judgment."

Ahmad related that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ لَعَدُوِّهِمْ قَاهِرِينَ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَصَابَهُمْ مِنْ لأْوَاءَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ كَذَلِكَ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَأَيْنَ هُمْ؟ قَالَ: بِبَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ وَأَكْنَافِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ
"There will always be a group from my Ummah triumphant upon the truth, victorious over their enemies, there will be no harm from those who oppose them and they will not be harmed until the order of Allah comes and they will be like that (triumphant). They said, "O RasulAllah, where are they? He said, "In Baytul-Maqdis and the precincts of Baytul-Maqdis."

At-Tabaraani in "Al-Kabeer" related that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي عَلَى الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى مَنْ يَغْزُوهُمْ قَاهِرِينَ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ نَاوَأَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ كَذَلِكَ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَأَيْنَ هُمْ قَالَ بِبَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ
“There will always be a group from my Ummah triumphant on the truth and victorious over those who oppose them and no harm will come to them from those who contradict them, until the order of Allah comes and they are so. RasulAllah was asked, "Where are they?" He replied, "Baytul-Maqdis."

It was mentioned in hadith of Abu Umaama from Ahmad that it is Baytul-Maqdis, and from Tabaraani in a similar hadith, and in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in the Al-Awsat by At-Tabaraani, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
"يقاتلون على أبواب دمشق وما حولها، وعلى أبواب بيت المقدس وما حوله، لا يضرهم من خذلهم ظاهرين إلى يوم القيامة"
"They will fight in Damascus and its precincts, and at the gates of Baytul-Maqdis and its precincts, they will not be harmed by those who abandon them and they will be triumphant until the Day of Judgment." (Fath-Bari)

لا تزال عصابة من أمتي يقاتلون على أبواب دمشق وما حولها وعلى أبواب بيت المقدس وما حولها، لا يضرهم خذلان من خذلهم ظاهرين على الحق إلى أن تقوم الساعة
"There will always be a group from my Ummah that will fight at the gates of Damascus and its precincts and at Baytul-Maqdis and its precincts. They will not be harmed by those who abandon them and will be triumphant on the truth until the Day of the Hour." (Kanz al-A'maal by Muttaqi Al-Hindi)

Reflection upon the hadith clarifies the following about the ahadeeth,

1 – It refers to a part of the Ummah and not all of it, for the reason that Taa'ifa (Group) in the language means the part of a thing and every part of something is the Taa'ifa of it. Qamoos says,
والطائفة من الشيء: القطعة منه
"And a Taa'fa of a thing is a part of it."

2 – It will be steadfast on the truth, which is Islam, " قائمة بأمر الله", "steadfast on the order of Allah."

3 – They will be fighting on the truth, in the way of Allah, «يقاتلون على الحق», they will fight on truth, ، «يقاتلون على أمر الله», they will fight according to the order of Allah.

4 - It is the same strength and ability will lead to fighting the enemy army, vanquishing them, defeating them decisively and establishing an apparent victory,
«يقاتلون على الحق ظاهرين على من ناوأهم»
"Fighting on the Truth against those who oppose them."
«يقاتلون على أمر الله قاهرين لعدوهم»
"Fighting on the order of Allah, vanquishing the enemy."

5 – Indeed this group, (يقاتلون على أبواب دمشق وما حولها وعلى أبواب بيت المقدس وما حوله) “fighting at the gates of Damascus and its precincts and at the gates of Bayt ul-Maqdis and its precincts” means fighting the enemy and emerging victorious in the areas of ash-Sham and its precincts.
These descriptions indicate that this group is based on Islam, fights in its cause, and has strength that makes it possible to defeat the enemy decisively and clearly obvious. Regarding the enemies of the states and the armies, the group that is triumphant over them must be a strong Muslim army in a Muslim country, led by the Khaleefah or the army commander, fighting the enemy and beating them in a humiliating defeat, victorious over them, vanquishing them and dominating them. And it will be launched from Ash-Sham and its precincts, the state and army has been battling the enemy and will defeat it and dominate it. Namely, this group is either the entourage of the state and the army which will be victorious over the enemy, vanquish them and dominate them, or this group is working for a state and army that will triumph over the enemy, vanquish them and dominate over them.

This could apply to the era of Prophet Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم and the companions in the fight against the enemy and dominating over them.

It can also apply to the golden era of Islam in the fight against the enemy dominating over them, to every Khaleefah and the leader of the Islamic army in the state, fighting the enemy, defeating, vanquishing and dominating him.

It can also apply to Salahuddin and his army in the defeat of the Crusaders, as well as the Qutuz and Baibars and his army's victory over the Tartars.

It could also apply to us because we work to create a strong Islamic state – a rightly guided Khilafah – to fight the kafir enemy, defeat them, dominate them and emerge obviously victorious. So, eradicating the state of Jews and opening Rome as promised. This is what could be and is probable.

But this does not apply to any group which is neither an Islamic state nor an army of the Islamic state, because without a state or an army, it could not vanquish the enemy nor dominate it obviously. Nor can it, without a state or army of the Islamic state, eliminate the entity of the Jews or defeat America or Britain.

Thus, it does not apply to groups, without a state or army in a state, fighting the enemy, because the description of the triumphant group is not just fighting but vanquishing the enemy, and the enemy state and army cannot be defeated, vanquished of dominated by a group without a state or army. It also does not apply to any group that is not working to establish an Islamic state - the Khilafah- because it cannot vanquish states and armies. Fighting and dominance over the enemy, whether it already exists practically or is being worked to establish, is the fundamental description of this group.

It also is not applicable to ulema of Hadeeth or Usool except if they work for the establishment of a state that fights and dominates over the enemies, vanquishing them and being victorious.

As stated in the Sahih Al-Bukhari:
Regarding the hadith of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم , (لا تزال طائفة من أمتي ظاهرين على الحق يقاتلون وهم أهل العلم) "There will always be a group from my Ummah that is triumphant on the truth and they are the ulema," the phrase وهم أهل العلم "and they are the people of knowledge" are the words of the transmitter and not the speech of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم .

As for what came from Asqalaani in Fath Al-Baari:
"The saying "and they are the people of knowledge" is from the words of the transmitter."
It should be noted that there any group fighting the enemy sincerely, will get reward, even if they are unable to dominate on the enemy, vanquish them and triumph over them, even if the fighting is by individuals against the enemy, sincerely, there is reward. And if there is any group engaged in an act of Khair, there is reward in it, even if it is the work of an individual. And any group engaged in the Knowledge of Islam, whether regarding Usul or Hadith, there is reward even if there are actions related to the individual in these matters.

But the issue is not this, but in describing this or that group as the Triumphant Group.
To describe a group as the Triumphant Group it is necessary to collate what is mentioned in the light of the Ahadeeth of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم.

And interpretation of these Ahadeeth, after gathering them and reflecting upon them, is what has been mentioned earlier. And it is what I have outweighed and opined is right.

As for the phrase لا يزال "there will always be" does not mean they it will not be interrupted, but it means that it will prevail over the enemy in successive periods until the Day of Resurrection, namely, that its victory over the enemy is not once and then the enemy returns to defeat us forever, rather our victory will be in successive periods until the Day of Resurrection. This is what has happened when we were triumphant over the kuffar and we were victorious over them in the days of Islam then we defeated and won and these were the days that we were given by turns (by Allah) and then came the Crusaders and they were defeated, and then came the Tartars and they were defeated, and then we were weak and then we returned and we opened Constantinople and it became Istanbul ... and it is upon the Khilafah that when it returns, by the permission of Allah, it will eradicate the entity of Jews, which occupied Palestine, and it will open Rome, by the permission of Allah, and this described group will remain upon the Truth until the last of them fights the Dajjal. It is noteworthy that in the hadeeth of the descent of Esa (as) before the Day of Resurrection, he will find a state and an Ameer, and then there will be victory over the enemy, decisively and obviously.

So, the "there will always be" does not mean without interruption, but it means that the world will not be without periods of victory by the Muslims against the enemy, resoundingly and obviously, until the Day of Resurrection.

This is like saying of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم, narrated by al-Bukhaari:
«لن يزال أمر هذه الأمة مستقيماً حتى تقوم الساعة»
"The affair of this Ummah will be until the Last Hour"

This does not mean that the integrity of the nation will remain always, as in various periods it was interrupted, as in after the destruction of the Khilafah.

It means that this world would never be without the integrity of this Ummah until the Day of Resurrection, it will not become "crooked" and never return to integrity, and when her Khilafah departed her matter did not return but left as well, and every time "crookedness" returns, the integrity of the Ummah will return until the Day of Resurrection.

This is the first part of the answer, and this is what I outweigh in this issue, but I do not rule out that there is another explanation but I outweigh that this is correct.
As for the second part, regarding dealing with these Ahadeeth:

They must be treated in a practical manner, as the Companions رضي الله عنهم and those that follow in Good dealt with the Ahadeeth of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم which promised and informed of matters which bore Khair for the Muslims. So, when they heard or read Hadith of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم about the Opening of Constantinople or Rome, everyone of them was eager that the fulfilling of this promise was by their hand, until it pleased Allah to bestow his mercy and Fadl upon Muhammad Al-Faatih with the First Opening which became Istanbul. So, when they heard the hadith they agreed to work hard to achieve its realization at their hands and they achieved the Khair that Allah described of the Opener نعم الأمير أميرها ونعم الجيش جيشها "Blessed is its Ameer and blessed is its army." Many Khulafa'a sent armies to open Constantinople, and many of the Sahaba, until they become elderly, such as Abu Ayyub رضي الله عنه, were involved in these armies to achieve this great Fadl.

Such is the matter of the Hadeeth about the Triumphant Group, so when RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم informs us about its description and announced its Fadl, and that it will fight the enemies and be victorious over them, vanquish them and be triumphant over them decisively and obviously, and this will not occur except with an Islamic State and a Muslim army which will defeat the Kafir states and their armies, so we must persist in assistance and increase our effort and struggle on the path to establish the Islamic state, the rightly guided Khilafah, so we will be in its army and fight the enemy, so we vanquish them, we be victorious over them and we are triumphant over them decisively and obviously. So, we hope from Allah (swt) that we are from that group which RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم mentioned in his noble Ahadeeth.

Then there is of the matter of utmost importance and that is the that the issue is not that we say this group is the Triumphant Group or we say this one or that, indeed the issue is that whoever loves to be in the Triumphant Group he work to achieve what was conveyed of its description and so he works to establish an Islamic state and an Islamic army that fights the Kafir enemies America, Britain and Jews ... etc and vanquishes them, is victorious over them and dominates them. And this is what indicates to him that he is part of the Triumphant Group, so one who intends to be of the Triumphant Group, let him work with whatever he has, by the permission of Allah, to achieve its description of overwhelming the enemies, achieving victory and dominance over them,

We ask Allah (swt) that we are of the Triumphant Group and that we witness the Islamic state, the rightly guided Khilafah, and we are from soldiers of Islam who defeat the enemy, overwhelm them and are victorious and triumphant over them.

And Allah (swt) supports those who support Him and He (swt) is Qawwi, Aziz.

7 Ramadan 1425 AH
21/10/2004 CE

Source

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Video: A Glimse of the International Khilafah Ulema Conference in Indonesia

Views on the news - 22/07/09

Non-Muslims in Britain seeks justice from Sharia Courts

Up to five per cent of cases heard by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) involve people who do not follow the Islamic faith, it has been estimated. The body operates court-like arbitration hearings in London, Bradford, Birmingham, Coventry and Manchester. The MAT said that the greater weight attached to oral agreements in its hearings than the courts was making its service attractive to non-Muslims in Britain, who it estimates are now involved in one in 20 of its cases. “We put weight on oral agreements, whereas the British courts do not,” Freed Chedie, a spokesman, told The Times. He cited a recent case in which a non-Muslim man took his Muslim business partner to arbitrate in a dispute over the profits in their car fleet company. Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, warned the unabated drive towards the full introduction of sharia law must be stopped. He said: “If the Government can’t see what is happening then they must be blind. At best the people driving this are ultra-conservative Muslims but at worst they are radical extremists.”

America’s new Sharia Index to rate countries according to Islam?

An American inspired initiative is under way to rate nations according to how closely they adhere to the principles of Islam. The Shariah Index Project is led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a New York-based cleric who heads the Cordoba Initiative, a multinational project to improve relations between Muslim countries and the West. The project has been in the works since 2006, with researchers quietly holding behind-the-scenes meetings with scholars, activists and government officials. “We have been soliciting the opinion of scholars throughout the Muslim world, asking them what defines an Islamic state, from the point of view of Islamic law,” he said. “What are the principles that make a state Islamic? We can say among them is justice, protection of religion and minorities and elimination of poverty, and so on...And we’d like to index both Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and non-OIC countries, because we know some non-OIC countries will score higher than some OIC members on some principles like justice, protection of minorities and so on.”

Clearly, the American inspired initiative is to measure the compliance of Muslim countries to western laws and customs as opposed to sharia law.

Sudan’s Abyei oil region: Source of conflict or reconciliation?

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Wednesday re-drew the boundaries of Sudan's contested Abyei oil region, ceding key oilfields and grazing lands to the north. Diplomats and Sudanese politicians hailed the ruling as a resolution of a festering row over the boundaries of Abyei -- one of the most sensitive issues left unresolved in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan. But doubts remain whether the complex ruling will be accepted by deeply divided communities living around Abyei. The tribunal's decision to re-draw Abyei's western border means the railway town of Meiram falls securely inside north Sudan. Abyei's new eastern border also means northern Sudan will be able to keep the key Heglig and Bamboo oilfields, whatever happens in the referendum. A large stripe of grazing lands that fell inside the 2005 borders of Abyei now stays firmly in the north.

The decision does not mean that peace will return to Sudan. On the contrary, as long as multinational oil companies continue to exploit Sudan’s oil wells, foreign powers will press ahead with plans to make the Sudanese people spill blood to secure these vital oil fields for the West.

The Pakistani leadership is still unable to perceive the US threat

This week The New York Times Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan, with the potential to further inflame the troubled province of Baluchistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials. Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan, with the potential to further inflame the troubled province of Baluchistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.

One would have thought that such developments would have prompted the military brass to sever its relations with America. Instead, the military leadership is asking for more weapons and funds, even though it perceives a clear threat from the US to dismember Pakistan. The continued cooperation between the Pakistani army leadership and America can only be described as both callous and treacherous—where the only losers are Muslims.

China’s space program masks an ambitious attempt to dominate space

Forty years after the United States landed a man on the moon, China’s fledgling space programme is racing to get to the lunar surface before an American return and ahead of its Asian rivals. The United States – the only country to have sent men to the moon – is hoping to touch down on the lunar surface again by 2020, almost a generation after it first completed six historic manned lunar trips between 1969 and 1972. Meanwhile, after putting its first man into space in 2003 – the third nation to do so – China is aiming to launch an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by around 2020. “China is doing all the things one would need to do in order to go to the moon,” says Dean Cheng, an expert on China’s space programme at the US-based research firm CNA Corp. But ambitious space programs are not the only concern for US policy makers. Many foresee that China will develop a new generation of weapons and satellites, which will eclipse America’s primacy in space.

22 July 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lessons from Al-Isra’ and Al-Mi’raj

The following is a transcript on the subject recently delivered by a brother.

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ
“Blessed is the One who took His Servant during part of the night on a journey from Masjid Al-Haram to Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose precincts we did bless” [TMQ 17:1]

We are in the later days of the month of Rajab, the anniversary of the Isra and Mi'raj will be in the coming days. Muslims around the world will think about the amazing incident that took place in the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Usually when people in the subcontinent talk about Shab-e-mi’raj, they see it as a day to make extra prayers or fast, even though there is no text from the Quran and sunnah to support this.

We as Muslims must realise that we must never allow this incident of al-Isra to remain as a mere fantastical story separated from our lives, like the Christians and Jews who took their scriptures as stories and detached them from life. We cannot leave Islam on the shelf and on the pages of books. Rather we must as with the rest of Islam connect this incident to our lives.

Isr'a literally means a journey by night and Mi'raj literally means an elevator or a ladder, i.e., an instrument which lifts something up. But, In Islam, Isra' refers to a miraculous night-journey made by the last Prophet (saw) from makkah to Jerusalem, and Mi'raj refers to the vehicle which took the Prophet (saw) from Jerusalem, up to and out of the universe, through the seven heavens.As for its exact date, there is difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding it. However, the majority of jurists are in favor of a date between 16-12 months prior to migration to Madinah.

There are many details regarding Isra & Mi’raj, however will only focus on some important lessons that we can draw from this great event.

Lesson 1: After hardship there is ease

Shortly before the Hijrah, (the migration to Madinah) the Prophet's uncle Abu Talib died. Though the Prophet (saw) tried his best to get him to accept Islam, he chose to remain in the religion of his forefathers. This hurt the Prophet (saw) a lot because Abu Talib had raised him from his early childhood and had protected him from a lot of harm which the tribe of Quraysh had tried to do to him. So Abu Talib's death affected the Prophet (saw) in two ways: (1) He did not join Islam and (2) He could no longer shield the Prophet (saw) from the anger of Quraysh.

Three days after Abu Talib's death, the Prophet's wife, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid died. It was she who comforted him during his first difficult experiences with revelation and during the early attacks and rejection of his people.

Following that the prophet (saw) went to Taif with the aim of winning the leaders of it to Islam so they could support him and establish Islam, but his invitation was totally rejected. He was chased out of the city and stoned so badly that his sandal became clogged with blood. Allah (swt) says:

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا (5) إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
“After hardship there is ease. Verily with the hardship there is relief” [TMQ 94: 4-5]

From these events which occurred around the same time, we can see that the Prophet (saw) had suffered a series of disappointing set-backs and trials. Thus, Allah took him up into His presence in order to strengthen him and prepare him for the next, forthcoming difficult stage of Prophethood which would be the Hijra, the establishment of the Islamic state the carrying of Islam to the world by Da’wah and Jihad.

Lesson 2: Significance of Al-Aqsa

Imam Ahmad reported from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah said: “Al-Buraq was brought to me, and it was a white animal bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. One stride of this creature covered a distance as far as it could see. I rode on it and it took me to Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), where I tethered it at the hitching post of the Prophets.” In the narration of Muslim, “I entered Masjid Al-Aqsa Sanctuary and prayed 2 rak'ah there..."

The narration is very lengthy and many of us will be aware of it, it explains how Muhammad (saw) ascended through the heavens meeting the different Prophet’s of Allah, then to Bayt al-Ma’mur and then to Allah.

Ibn Kathir says in his Tafseer: “Then he came back down to Bayt Al-Maqdis, and the Prophets came down with him and he led them in prayer there when the time for prayer came. It may have been the dawn prayer of that day.”

· The first Qiblah of the Muslims
· The station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the miraculous journey of Mohammed saw)
· The second house of Allah built on earth - it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times
· The place where hundreds of Messengers of Allah are buried
· The place where many companions are buried
· A place where miracles were shown by Allah's will
· A place which Allah Himself calls a 'blessed place'
· Referred to directly and indirectly, 70 times in the Holy Quran
· The place where Angels have descended with Allah's message
· The only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allah prayed at the same time led by the Mohammed (saw)
· The only Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Quran a part from the Ka'bah

Al-Aqsa was the first Qibla of the Muslims, it is the third most sacred mosque. The mosque itself forms part of the al-Haram ash-Sharif or "Sacred Noble Sanctuary" (along with the Dome of the Rock), The mosque is known to be the second house of prayer constructed after the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. Imam Muslim quotes Abu Dharr as saying: "I asked the beloved Prophet Muhammad which was the first "mosque" [i.e. house of prayer] on Earth?" "The Sacred House of Prayer (Masjid al-Haram), i.e. Kaaba)," he said. "'And then which', I asked?" "The Furthest House of Prayer (Masjid al Aqsa)", he said. "I further asked, 'what was the time span between the two'?" "Forty years," Prophet Muhammad replied.

Maymunah Bint Sa'd (ra) relates that she asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, inform us about Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)". He said, "Visit it for prayer ". She further asked, "If one of us cannot visit it, what should we do"? He said, "If you cannot go for prayer then send some oil to be used for its lamps, will be as if he has prayed in it". (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, Tabarani)

Zaid Ibn Thabit (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "How blessed is Al-Sham"! The Companions (ra) asked, "Why is that"? The Messenger (saw) replied, "I see the Angels of Allah spreading their wings over Al-Sham". Ibn Abbas (ra) added, "And the Prophets lived therein. There is not a single inch in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) where a Prophet has not prayed or an Angel not stood". (Tirmidhi, Ahmad)

Lesson 3: Leadership of all other prophets and for all humanity

The Prophet Muhammad is the leader of all the Prophet’s who brought the final revelation and complete Deen

Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “I have been given five things which none before me was given: each Prophet was sent specifically to his people while I have been sent to every red and black.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “I have been preferred over other Prophets with six things,” one of which was that: “I am sent to all of creation.” (Muslim)

We follow the law that the Muhammad (saw) brought:

Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated that Umar Ibn al-Khattab brought a copy of the Torah to the Prophet (saw) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, this is a copy of the Torah.” But [the Prophet] kept silent. Then Umar started reading and the face of the Prophet kept changing. So, Abu Bakr interrupted him violently: “Don't you see the face of the Messenger (saw)?” Umar looked at the Prophet's face and said, “May Allah preserve me from His anger and from the anger of his Messenger (saw), we accepted Allah as Lord and Islam as religion and Muhammad as Prophet.” Then the Prophet (saw) said:“By the One Who owns Muhammad's soul, if Musa (as) appeared to you and you followed him and left me, you would go astray from the right path and if he were alive and reached [the time of] my prophethood he would have followed me.” [Tirmizi 194; Darimi 1/435 and Mishkat, 1/20]

Lesson 4: Salah – the ascension for a believer

We know the obligatory Salah was revealed during this journey. It is one of the pillars of Islam. Many of us are aware of the hadith where initially 50 salah a day was prescribed by Allah, then Musa (as) advised the Prophet to ask for a reduction. Allah (swt) in his mercy reduced the number to 10 times a day and then finally to 5 times a day.

“When I came back to Moses, he said, 'What have you been ordered?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.' He said, 'Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower's burden.' I said, 'I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah's Order.' When I left, I heard a voice saying, 'I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers." [Sahih Al-Bukhari 5.227]

The Prophet (saw) said: “The Salah is the mi’raj of the believer”.

The Salah is a time when we are in direct communication with Allah and we are in front of Allah (swt).

Also the Hadith of the Prophet (saw) as narrated authentically in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal:

“The covenant between myself and yourself is the Salah whoever abandons prayer commits an action of disbelief” ”

This hadith highlights the importance of Salah and how the one who leaves it is on the border line of disbelief. So it is a great sin hence the prophet (saw) has used the word ‘kufr’ to describe the gravity of the situation where one leaves salah.

Lesson 5: Punishments for disobedience to Allah

The ahadith mention that the Prophet was shown people being punished for various types of sins. We should remember these narrations and be careful to stay away from such sins. He saw those who committed adultery and their punishment, those who slandered, those who engaged in Riba and various other sins. For examples:

Then the Prophet went on for a little while. He saw groups of people who had bellies as large as houses, and there were snakes in them which could be seen through their skins. Every time one of those people stood up he would fall again and he would say: "O Allah, don't make the Hour of Judgment rise yet!" Then they meet the people of Fir`awn on the road and the latter trample them underfoot. (The Prophet said) "I heard them clamoring to Allah." He asked: "O Jibril, who are these?" He replied: "They are those of your Community who eat up usury. They cannot stand up except in the manner of those whom the Shaytan touches with possession."

Then the Prophet went on for a little while. He saw groups of people whose lips resembled the lips of camels. Their mouths were being pried open and they would be stoned. One version says: A rock from Gehenna was placed in their mouths and then it would come out again from their posteriors. (The Prophet said:) "I heard them clamoring to Allah." He asked: "O Jibril, who are these?" He replied: "They are those of your Community who eat up the property of orphans and commit injustice. They are eating nothing but a fire for their bellies, and they shall be roasted in it."

Lesson 6: Iman – the example of Abu Bakr

The following morning, the Prophet (saw) went to the Quraysh's Tribal meeting place, and when Abu Jahl came up to him, he informed him of his journey. Abu Jahl then called all the people to hear the Prophet's story, and when he related it to them, they stared at him in amazement and disbelief. Some Muslim converts whose Iman was weak left Islam and returned to Kufr, because of the incredible tale which the Prophet (saw) told.

Some of the people ran to Abu Bakr and told him and his companions that Muhammad (saw) claimed that he went to Jerusalem, made Salah there, and returned to Makkah in one night. They told him that the Prophet (saw) was at the Ka'bah telling people. When they told him that they were sure that he would also leave Islam, because it was obvious to them that Muhammad (saw) must be lying. But Abu bakr told them, "By Allah, if he actually said that, he has told the truth. There really is nothing to be amazed about, for he has told me that information comes to him from Allah, from the sky to the earth, in an instant during the night or day and I believe him. And that is even more strange." Because of that statement of Abu Bakr, the Prophet (saw) gave him the title of "as-Siddiq (the truthful)."

The people then demanded from the Prophet (saw) proof of what he said. They knew that he had never travelled to Jerusalem, so some of them demanded that he describe it. The Prophet (saw) worried, as he had forgotten most of it's details. He had only been there at night and had not paid much attention to it's details. But, Allah blessed him with a vision in which he saw Jerusalem as if he were there. So he was able to describe even it's smallest details for them. For the others, he told them that on his way to Jerusalem he passed by a stray camel belonging to one of the clans which had camped in a valley. It had escaped from a group of them and he led them to it. He also told them that on his return he passed by the same clan's caravan and found them all sleeping. They had a drinking vessel with some water in it which they had covered, so he uncovered it, drank its contents and put the cover back on the same way it was. He then informed them that the caravan was on its way to Makkah and he further described its lead camel. So the people rushed out to meet the caravan and found it as he had described. They then asked the clan about the stray camel and the drinking vessel, and they replied, "By Allah! He told the truth, we had camped in a valley which he mentioned and one of our camels had run off. We heard a man's voice calling us to it until we caught it." They also mentioned that they had left water in their jug and were surprised to find that it was all gone the next morning.

And Allah revealed the verse:

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاسِ
“We appointed not the vision which we showed you but as a test for mankind.” [TMQ 17:60]

Liberation of Al-Aqsa and Palestine

There are many narrations about the blessings of the people of Palestine, especially in the time of Fitna.

Imams Ahmad and At-Tabarani reported on the authority of Abu Imama Al-Bahilai (may Allâh be pleased with him) that the Prophet (saw) said, “A group of my nation will keep being in the side of right and victorious over its enemy; no party of their enemy can cause them harm; the only harm that may afflict them is (physical) exhaustion. They would be like so until the Day of Judgment.” The Prophet’s Companions (may Allâh be pleased with them) asked, “Where would they be, Allâh’s Messenger?” He (saw) said, “In Jerusalem and the surrounding vicinity.”
Alhamdullilah the pioneers of the work for Khilafah in the world today are from that land of Palestine, they recently held a huge gathering after the Friday prayers outside Masjid al-Aqsa remembering the anniversary of the destruction of KhilafahIsrael will be destroyed and Al-Quds will become the capital of the Khilafah

Allah (swt) States in the same Surah, Al Isra:

وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَى بَنِي إسْرائِيلَ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا (4) فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ أُولَاهُمَا بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًا لَنَا أُولِي بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ فَجَاسُوا خِلَالَ الدِّيَارِ وَكَانَ وَعْدًا مَفْعُولًا (5) ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَمْدَدْنَاكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفِيرًا (6) إِنْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ الْآَخِرَةِ لِيَسُوءُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُوا الْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَلِيُتَبِّرُوا مَا عَلَوْا تَتْبِيرًا (7) عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يَرْحَمَكُمْ وَإِنْ عُدْتُمْ عُدْنَا وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ حَصِيرًا
"And we decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant! So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. Then We gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower. (And We said): 'If you do well, you do good for your ownselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves'. Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. [And We Said in the Taurat (Torah)]: 'It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers" [TMQ Al-Isra, 17:4-8]

The indication in this verse that the second promise of Allah (swt) which will come to pass refers to the destruction of Israel is where it says, "to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before". The Muslims opened Jerusalem to Islam under the rule of the second Khalifah Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra), the Islamic state ruled it with justice for hundreds of years. Even though it was captured by the Crusader Christians for a number of years it was never captured by the Jews previous to the formation of the state of Israel. So Allah (swt) promises that we will enter the mosque of Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem as we entered it before when we conquered it.

Narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir, from Maseerah b. Jaleese, where he heard the Prophet (saw): “This matter (the Khilafah) will continue after me in Al-Madina, then (move to) Al-Shaam, then to the peninsula, then to Iraq, then to the city, then to Bait-ul-Maqdis. So if it reaches Bait-ul-Maqdis, then it would have reached its (natural resting place); and no people who remove it (i.e. the capital of the Khilafah) from their land will ever get it back again (for them to be the capital again).” The scholars said they believe that what he (saw) meant by ‘the city’ is the city of Heraclius (Constantinople). This hadith is talking about which cities would become the capital of the Khilafah, all the cities mentioned have been the capitals of the Khilafah in the past except Bait ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem). This will be our capital sometime in the future inshallah.
The indication in this verse that the second promise of Allah (swt) which will come to pass refers to the destruction of Israel is where it says, "to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before". The Muslims opened Jerusalem to Islam under the rule of the second Khalifah Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra), the Islamic state ruled it with justice for hundreds of years. Even though it was captured by the Crusader Christians for a number of years it was never captured by the Jews previous to the formation of the state of Israel. So Allah (swt) promises that we will enter the mosque of Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem as we entered it before when we conquered it.

It was not only al-Quds (Jerusalem) that was the source of great Islamic scholars like Ibn Qudama alMaqdisi. From Nablus another city was also the origin of great Muslim Scholars like Abdul Ghani alNabulsi, and Asqalan with her son the great scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalany, and there many others from other cities in this blessed land.

Today the sons and children of these cities are facing the guns of the Jews with stones, whilst the armies in the Muslim lands remain idle under orders from their treacherous rulers. Even though the soldiers within the Islamic armies wish to fight, there blood boils but the rulers under orders from their Kuffar masters quell their feeling and suppress them, attempting to cage them.

It is not the first time that Muslims have faced the problem of Palestine or similar problems. The Christian Crusaders occupied Jerusalem in the year 1099 and they created a Christian Kingdom with Godfrey of Bologne as Prince. However the Muslims did not just give up, they did not have a peace deal with the Crusaders, rather the Muslims had a mechanism which decided how to solve their problems, they had the rules of Allah (swt) implemented by the Khilafah state. They did not become defeated and think that they would never be able to do it, rather they trusted in Allah and acted according to his command. In the year 1187 in the famous battle of Hitten, Salahuddin Ayyubi defeated the Crusaders and retook the land of Palestine and al-quds.

Salahudeen choose the night believed to be the night of Isra wa Miraj, the 27th of Rajab 583 After Hijra to take possession of al-Quds and to conclude a crushing defeat upon the Christians. He remembered the significance of Isra and Miraj, he did not detach it from life, he did not see it as an irrelevant story.

The Kuffar to this day remember Salahuddin Ayyubi, they have made films about him like the hollywood hit 'The Kingdom of Heaven', they call him ‘Saladin’, the French even named one type of their challenger tank after him.

In addition there are other texts indicating the future capital of the Khilafah state from Ibn ‘Asaakir, from Abdul Rahman b. Abi ‘Umayrah Al-Muzni, who said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw): “There will be, in Bait-ul-Maqdis, a (rightly guided) Bay’a.”

These include narrations by Al-Haakim, which have been classified as Sahih. Of these is the narration from Abi Shareeh: “…I have heard those who say that they will be twelve banners, and under each banner twelve thousand (men), and the Muslims will gather to their comrade (or Imam) in Bait-ul-Maqdis (Al-Quds).”

It was narrated by Ibn Habban in his book of Sahih Ahadith, that Al-Shaam (the region which covers Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and part of Iraq) will be the base of the land of the believers at the end of time. On the authority of Al-Nawas b. Sam’aan, who said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “…and the ‘Uqr (natural origin) of the land of the believers is Al-Shaam.” It was also narrated by Ahmad from the hadith by Salamah b. Nufayl, “…verily, the ‘Uqr of the land of the believers is Al-Shaam…”

Furthermore, it was narrated by Al-Tabarani, in ‘Al-Kabeer,’ on the authority of Salamah b. Nufayl: “The ‘Uqr of Dar Al-Islam is in Al-Shaam.” According to Al-Haythami, this was narrated by Al-Tabarani, and his men (chain of narration) are trustworthy.

This hadith was narrated by 5 Tabi’ Tabi’een, from two Tabi’een, from 2 of the Sahaba. Due to the nature of the definite truthfulness of the speaker (the Messenger of Allah (saw)), this hadith is with regards to the second ‘Uqr of Dar Al-Islam, and not the ‘Uqr of the first, for the meaning of the ‘Uqr of the land is its centre and origin, and the ‘Uqr of the first Islamic State was in Al-Madina Al-Munawwarah; therefore, this means that what is meant here is the ‘Uqr of the second Islamic State.

It was narrated by Abu Dawud in ‘Al-Sunan’, on the authority of Abdullah b. ‘Amr (ra): “There will be a Hijrah after a Hijrah, so the best people on earth are those who keep to the (land of the) Hijrah of Ibrahim (i.e. Al-Shaam).”

Therefore we need to work to establish the Dar al-Islam, the Khilafah – then Muslims from all over the globe will make Hijra to it as the Prophet has mentioned.

Abu Ismael

Saturday, July 18, 2009

27th Rajab: A Day of Grandeur

27th Rajab: A Day of Grandeur – The Day of al-Isra wal Mi`raj and the Recapture of al-Quds

After the success of capturing Ascalon (southern Palestine) and the areas around al-Quds, Salahudeen al-Ayubi proceeded to finally take al-Quds itself. Beha ad-Deen recounts that Salahuddeen followed the advice of the Prophet (saw) when he said: “He to whom the door of success has been opened must take his opportunity and enter in, for he knows not when the door may close on him.”

After a brief siege of the holy city, Salahudden recaptured al-Quds on Friday, the 27th of Rajab (2/8/1187), on the anniversary of the night of ascension (al-Isra wal Mi`raj). Beha ad-Deen states: “what a wonderful coincidence! Allah(swt) allowed the Muslims to take the city as a celebration of the anniversary of their Prophet’s (SAW) night journey. Truly this is a sign that this deed was pleasing to Almighty Allah(swt)...” He continues: “Therefore all men learned in the law came to join Salahuddeen, both from Egypt and from Syria; there was not a single well-known doctor but came to the camp. Every voice was raised in shouts, calling upon Allah(swt), and proclaiming his unity and power. On the very day of the capitulation Friday’s prayer was in the city, and the Khatib delivered the sermon.”

It is also narrated that the scholars flocked to al-quds in the hope that salahudden would choose one of them to deliver the Khutba. He chose Muhiyudden ibnu Zakiyudden. The khutbah that he delivered was as follows:

Click here for the Original Arabic

Opening with surat al-Fatiha, he proceeded:

So the roots of the people who did wrong were cut off, and all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light.

And say, “Praise be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in the Dominion, nor any protector from humiliation, (so) magnify Him, with all magnificence!

Praise be to Allah, Who has sent down to His slave the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) Straight to give warning (to the disbelievers) of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers, who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a good reward. They shall abide therein forever. And to warn those who say, “Allah has begotten a son.”

Say, “Praise be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen! Is Allah better, or (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Him)?"

Praise be to Allah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. His is all the praise in the Hereafter, and He is the Wise, the Aware.

Praise be to Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings - two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.

Praise be to Allah, who honours Islam by His support and victory, who humiliates shirk by His might, who regulates all affairs by His command, who rewards gratitude by continuing his favours, who lures the disbelievers by His plans, who appointed the days by turn (between people) by His Justice, who made the end success for the believers by His bounty, who shades his servants by His Shade, who makes His deen dominant over all other ways of life. He is the Mighty, above his servants, whom none can resist, the Dominant over his creation, whom none can dispute, the Commander of what He wills, whom none can disobey, the Ruler by what he wishes, whom none can oppose.

I praise Him for his victorious assistance, for His honouring of his friends and His aiding those who aid His cause. I praise Him for his purifying his sacred house from the filth of shirk and its pollutions. I praise Him by the praise of one who is truly conscious of inner gratitude and who expresses it outwardly, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, having no partner, the One, the Eternal, who begets not, nor was He begotten, and who has none like unto Him. Such is the witnessing of him who has purified his heart by declaring the Unity of the Lord, and has pleased Him thereby.

And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the remover of doubt, the refuter of shirk, the dispeller of falsehood, the one taken by night from the Sacred Mosque to this Mosque, al-Aqsa, and the one taken up from it to the high heavens, to the lote-tree of the utmost boundary (sidrat al-muntaha), whereby is the Garden of eternal abode. His sight turned not aside, nor did it exceed. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, and upon his khalifah Abu Bakr, the first to Iman, and upon the leader of the believers Umar ibn al-Khattab, the first to remove from this house the sign of the Christian cross, and upon the leader of the believers Uthman ibn Affan, the one of two lights, the complier of the Qur’an, and upon the leader of the believers Ali ibn Abi Talib, the destroyer of shirk and the breaker of idols, and upon his family, his Companions and upon those who followed them with good.

O People, rejoice at the pleasure of Allah which is the ultimate objective and the highest reward. Rejoice for what Allah made easy for you of recovering this lost possession (al-Aqsa) from the misguided people and returning it to its rightful place under Islam, after it was debased in the hands of the mushrikeen for almost a hundred years. Rejoice at the purifying of this house which Allah ordered to be raised, in which His name is glorified, and at cleansing its paths of shirk after it had spread over it and its rites were established in it. Its foundation was laid on the basis of tawheed, the best basis to build on, and its edifice was erected with His glorification. Indeed it is built on taqwa all over. It is the dwelling of your father Ibrahim and the place from which your Prophet (saw) mounted to the heavens. It is your qiblah towards which you prayed in the beginning of Islam. It is the abode of the Prophets (as), the destination of the friends of Allah (awliya’), the burial-place of the Messengers (as), the descent-place of the revelation and the place where the orders and prohibitions were sent down. It is the gathering place and the land of the resurrection and it is in the sacred land mentioned by Allah in His Book. It is the mosque in which the Messenger of Allah (saw) prayed with the angels nearest to Allah, and it is the land to which Allah sent his slave and messenger, his Word which He bestowed on Maryam, and His spirit Isa’, whom He honoured with messengership and blessed with prophethood, without changing his rank of servanthood; thus Allah said,

“The Messiah does by no means disdain that he should be a servant of Allah, nor do the angels who are near to Him” ; Indeed, they lied, those who said that God had equals, and they erred greatly.

“Allah has not taken any son, nor is there any god along with Him; else would each god have assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would surely have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege.”

“Indeed, they have disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary.”

Al-Aqsa is the first of the two qiblahs, the second of the two mosques, the third to the two sanctuaries. Journeys (to visits mosques) are not begun after the two mosques except to it, and no place is rated higher, after the two cities (Makkah and Madinah) than it. Had you not then been from those chosen by Allah from amongst his servants, and selected from amongst the dwellers of His lands, He would not have chosen you from this great blessing in which you will not have an equal and in the excellence of which you will not have a rival.

So glad tidings be to you for an army on whose hand have appeared the Prophetic miracles, the incidents of Badr, the resolution of al-Siddiq, the conquests of Umar, the armies of Uthman and the battles charges of Ali . You have revived for Islam the days of Qadisiyyah, the fierce battles of Yarmuk, the sieges of Khaybar, the raids of Khalid. May Allah reward you with the best of rewards, and may He recompense you well for the exertion of your souls in fighting the enemies. May He accept from you the blood you shed in getting closer to Him, and reward you with Jannah, the abode of the blissful.

Appreciate then – may Allah have mercy on you – this blessing at its just value, and stand to Allah in due gratitude, for He has great due from you for having conferred on you this honour and electing you for this great service. This is the conquest for which the gates of heaven opened, by whose light illuminated the faces of darkness, by which the angels rejoiced, and the eyes of the Prophets and Messengers found solace. How great a favour that He made you the army upon whose hands bayt al-maqdis was conquered in the latter times, the soldiers who established, with their swords, the signs of Iman after the end of Prophethood. Soon, perhaps, Allah will open other lands upon your hands. Openings at which the people of heaven will rejoice more than those of the Earth.

Is it not the house which Allah mentioned in his Book and explicitly mentioned it in his definitive address, saying,

“Glorified be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from al-Masjid-al-Haram to the Farthest mosque…”

Is it not the house which all the religions honoured, to which the messengers turned, in which the four divinely revealed books were recited? Is it not the house for the sake of which Allah stopped the sun from setting for Joshua, and slowed its pace, so that his conquest would be facilitated? Is it not the house which Allah ordered Musa (as) to command his people to liberate, yet none responded save two men, because of which He sent His wrath upon them, sending them into the wilderness as punishment for disobedience?

Praise Allah, therefore, who strengthened your resolution to what the Children of Israel recoiled from whilst He had favoured them over all others. Praise Allah who prospered you in what the past nations failed. He united your word whilst it was divided, and made a reality what you spoke of as an event of the future. Be proud that Allah has mentioned you to those nearest to Him and has made you of His own troops after you has been troops of your own desires. Rejoice at the coming of the angels sent down to thank you for the sweet scent of tawheed, sanctification and glorification (of Allah) you have gifted this house, and for having removed from their paths the harm of shirk and Trinitarian doctrine and of the insolent, filthy belief.

Now the angels of the heavens make istighar for you, pray for you and send upon you blessings. Preserve therefore – may Allah have mercy on you – this gift you have obtained and protect this favour which you have received, through taqwa, by which those who hold on to it are saved, and those who cling to its rope are protected. Beware of following desires, falling into ruin, returning from the right path, or recoiling from an enemy. Take the opportunity to remove what remains in this land of annoyance. Fight in the path of Allah the true Jihad, and trade with Allah your souls for His good pleasure as he has made you his choice servants. Beware of shaytaan lest he make you slip or lead you to transgression by making you think that this victory was because of your sharp swords, fine horses and steadfastness in battle. Nay! By Allah, the victory is not except from Allah. Verily, Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Beware O servants of Allah – after He honoured you with this great conquest, this abundant reward, and chose you for His clear victory and joined your hands to his strong rope – beware that you commit a grave prohibition or bring forth a great disobedience, thereby becoming like her who undoes the thread which she has spun after it has become strong, or ‘like the one to whom Our signs come but he threw them away, so shaytaan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray’.

Maintain the Jihad, O servants of Allah, for it the most virtuous of your worships, the most blessed of your actions. Help Allah, He will help you. Remember Allah, he will remember you. Be grateful to Allah, he will increase you in good and reward you. Strive hard to remove the disease (of shirk), uproot the enemy, and purify the rest of the land from this filth which angers Allah and His Messenger. Cut the branches of kufr and terminate its roots, for now the days cry out: O for the revenge of Islam and the deen of Muhammad! Allah is great! He conquered and aided! He dominated and subdued! He humiliated those who disbelieve!

Know – may Allah have mercy on you – that this is the opportunity, so seize it. This is the prey, so fight for it. It is the spoil, so hasten to obtain it. This is a most important matter, so put forth your best effort and accomplish it. Send forth your resolution as a battalion lined-up, for indeed the matters are (judged) by their ends, and each merit is by its recompense. Allah has made you victorious over this misguided enemy who were equal in number to you, or even more. So how was it when you were one to twenty? Allah, the exalted, has said,

If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.

May Allah help us and you in following His commands, and abstaining from his prohibitions. May He assist us, O Muslims, with the nusrah from Him,

If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you?

Indeed the most noble speech is that said in the right place, and the most penetrative of arrows is that shoot from the bow of speech, and the best word by which one can tough the intellects is the Speech of the One, the Lone, the Mighty, the Knowing. Says Allah,

So, when the Quran is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaytan. I begin in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

“All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah, and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. He it is who drove out the disbelievers among the people of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think that they would get out. And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah’s (torment) reached them from a place whereof they expected it not, and He cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers. Then take admonition, O you with eyes!”

I admonish you, and myself, with what He ordered of His good obedience, so obey Him, and I forbid you, and myself, from what He forbade of his disobedience, so do not disobey Him, and I seek the forgiveness of Allah, the Mighty, for myself, for you, and for all the Muslims, so seek His forgiveness.
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Then He gave a brief second khutbah as per the common practice of khatibs, and then he made du’a for the Imam al-Nasir, the Khalifah of the time. He said,

O Allah, prolong the authority of your servant, humble in your fear, grateful for your blessings, thankful for your gifts, your sharp sword, your shining flame, the defender of your deen, the protector of your sacred land, the firm resistor, the noble master, the helping ruler, the uniter of the word of Iman, the vanquisher of those who worship the cross, the restorer of the world and the deen, the sultan of Islam and the Muslims, the purifier of al-bayt al-maqdis, Abu al-Mudhaffar Yusuf ibn Ayyub, the reviver of the State, the leader of the believers.

O Allah, extend his wide state, make the angels surround his flags, reward him for his service to the true deen, and for his firm resolution and prompt defence of the deen of Muhammad (saw). O Allah, preserve his life for the sake of Islam, protect his dominion for the sake of Iman, and spread his call and authority in all the regions of the East and West. O Allah, just as you have liberated, upon his hands, al-bayt al-maqdis after the people had doubted, and the believers were tested, liberate upon his hands the rest of the lands on the Earth, close and far. Help him to seize kufr by its forelock. Let him scatter their squadrons, disperse their multitudes, and send them, band and band, to join their predecessors (in defeat).

Reward his efforts, O Allah, and let his orders and prohibitions be implemented in the East and West. O Allah, preserve by him the centre and frontiers of the land and all the regions of the dominion. O Allah, humiliate by him the kuffar, and disgrace by him the transgressors, and spread his authority over the great cities (of the Earth), and dispatch the battalions of his troops on the paths of the great regions (of the Earth). O Allah, establish the authority in him and in his successors till the Day of Judgement. Preserve him, his progeny, and the sons of his father, the noble leaders. Strengthen his power by granting them long life, and honour, by your will, his supporters and protectors and theirs.

O Allah, just as you have granted Islam this great favour upon his hand, which shall endure time as the months and years take their course, then grant him the eternal dominion which does not perish in the abode of the pious, and answer his du’a when he says, “My Lord, inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for your favours which you have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please you, and admit me by your mercy among your righteous slaves."

He finished by making the usual du’a.
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Reference:

Wafayaat al-A’yaan wa Anbaa’ al-Abnaa’ al-Zaman (Ibn Khallikan’s Biographical Dictionary), Abu Abbas Shams al-Din Abu Bakr Ibn Khallikan, Dar Sadir, Beirut, Vol 4, pp. 230-236.


Source

Rajab: A Momentous History

There are momentous times in the history of all peoples. Momentous days, weeks and months. The Muslims are no exception. To the contrary, Islamic history overflows with events and occurrences worthy of the mention, and indeed worthy of remembrance. Such comes with no surprise given the fact that the Islamic civilisation brought a new dawn to the world of the 7th century, as it established itself in the Middle East before moving forth to conquer land after land, bringing with it knowledge, civilisation and real progress.

It is well-known that the holiest of months in the Islamic lunar calendar is Ramadan. A month with unrivalled historic significance, both at the time of the Prophet (saw) and after him. A significance which shadows a heavy burden on the other eleven months, sometimes rendering their magnitude miniscule in its grandeur. In any absolute analysis nevertheless, all the Islamic months have their unique significance. Here we look at one such month, which races towards us, in this, the 1429th year after hijra. That month is Rajab, and it is indeed a month which carries a momentous history. In particular, Rajab saw four events in Islamic History which belong in the category of those which changed the course of history.

It was in Rajab of the 10th year of Prophethood (620 CE) that al-Isra wa ‘l-Mi’raj occurred. In one night the Prophet (saw) went from Makkah to Jerusalem, then to the heavens and beyond. The spiritual significance of Prophetic journey is only matched by the importance of its timing with regard to the Prophetic mission. Having lost his uncle Abu Talib who had protected him from the beginning of his call, as well as his beloved wife Khadija (ra), the Prophet (saw) was in a difficult situation. The Makkans openly declared their campaign of torture and persecution. It was in this dire situation, at the height of the struggle between Islam and Kufr, that Allah decided to show his chosen servant some of His greatest signs, taking him in one night, nay a part thereof, to the sacred mosque in the sacred lands of Jerusalem and from there to the highest heavens.

Rajab also saw one of the glorious military victories of the Messenger (saw); the Battle of Tabuk, which occurred in the 9 AH, and marked the completion of Islamic authority over the whole Arabian Peninsula. Notwithstanding the intense heat and the long journey to al-Sham from Madinah, an army of 30,000, Muslim moved relentlessly towards al-Sham. The Roman armies were encamped at Tabuk ready to raid the Muslims, but when they heard of the size and strength of the Muslim army coming towards them, and that they were led by the Messenger of Allah himself, they were terrified and rushed back into the interior of al-Sham to the safety of their fortresses. This left the Messenger (saw) with an easy task of occupying Tabuk without a fight. He stayed there for a month dealing with other minor resisting forces and also sent letters to the leaders and governors under Roman control in the area, who made peace with him and agreed to pay the Jizyah.

It was also in Rajab, of the year 583 AH (1187 CE), that Salah al-Din marched into Jerusalem, liberating it from the clutches of the European crusaders who had taken it and ruled it for close to a century. This conquest was not only significant because of the inalienable importance of Jerusalem in Islam, but also because of its role as being one of the crucial stabs in crusader efforts to conquer Muslim lands. A few months earlier Salah al-Din annihilated the Crusader army of Guy of Lusignan and Raymond III of Tripoli in the Battle of Hittin. This was a major disaster for the Crusaders and a turning point in the history of the Crusades to the favour of the Muslims.

Centuries later, in 1342 AH (1924 CE), the month of Rajab again brought a history-setting event upon the Muslim Ummah. This time, unlike the previous two, it was not an occurrence worthy of praise, though certainly worthy of remembrance. On the 28 of Rajab, corresponding to the 3rd of March, the Khilafah was officially abolished at the hands of Mustafa Kemal Pasha. That institution which united the Muslims and implemented the Shari’ah was abolished. That institution which for centuries had played out its role of being a shield for the Muslims was removed. What happened afterwards was to be expected. Without a shield, the Muslims, their resources and their lands were no more than war booty to the disbelieving colonialists, who had been pulling the strings to make sure that the Khilafah was eradicated and replaced by secular rule.

These four events in Islamic History are indeed momentous events. They are events which set the course of history in a specific direction. They are events worthy of our remembrance and commemoration. Not a Western commemoration, but an Islamic one. We commemorate not by partying the night away, nor by extravagant marches and trumpet-blowing, nor by building statues and monuments of men. Rather our commemoration is in turning to Allah in worship and contemplation: praising Him for his great favours, and seeking forgiveness for our shortcomings. Our commemoration is in praying extra prayers, reciting more Qur’an and making extra dhikr. Our commemoration is in reflecting upon our situation today, as individuals and as an Ummah, and assessing it in light of our Islamic obligations. Our commemoration is in resolving our will to fulfill our obligations towards our Creator to the best of our ability.

As we enter another Rajab, we should familiarise ourselves with our great history, and take the opportunity to do the above things with pure sincerity to Allah (swt) and with the sole motivation of seeking His pleasure. We should reflect upon al-Isra wa ‘l-Mi’raj and ask: as we find ourselves in the midst of a an intense struggle between Islam and kufr, this time in the form of Western secular liberalism, are we resolving our will and engaging with the aim of making Islam dominant? We should reflect upon Salah al-Din’s liberation of Jerusalem and ask: what are we doing knowing well that the holy city is occupied yet again and has been so for over fifty years? Where is the Salah al-Din of today? We should reflect upon the destruction of the Khilafah and ask: what is our contribution to the Islamic revival and efforts to re-establish the Khilafah? What are we doing to fulfill our collective obligation to Allah of ruling by Islam and being the role model of humanity, leading her towards progress and success in both worlds?

We must ask these questions in taking lessons from our history, as we venture into our future.

Source

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Art of Discussion

Abu Muhammad, Kmag 2005

One of the greatest skills that any human can possess is the ability to persuade people of their ideas through discussion. A characteristic of an effective da'wah carrier is the ability to listen, understand and respond in an excellent manner. Far too often people fall short of this and learn only the ability to dominate and dictate to others. It is evident that many of us will not tolerate others to raise views that are different to our own. Many Muslim parents will tell their children they can or cannot do a certain action, such that the child will obey their parents out of fear, but not out of conviction. Often such children will disobey their parents in secret.

Resentment may also be caused when others are not allowed to raise their differing points of view, or when their questions are not answered or dismissed as irrelevant. For example, a da'wah carrier may be trying to convince someone that only the Islamic State will truly solve the problems of the Ummah, but he does not consider the argument of the person he is speaking to. Rather, he dictates what he believes in and closes the doors to discussion. Such an attitude leads to strained relationships, and this is a further barrier towards winning over the other person towards your point of view. It is not surprising to find different members of Islamic groups, parents and children, siblings, Muslims and non-Muslims, rulers and their subjects having a strained relationship.

The most dangerous of these is the relationship of the Ummah with her rulers. The reality today is that the leaders tolerate no criticism or discussion from the Ummah and the Ummah itself discusses in secret and holds the leaderships in contempt. In the future Khilafah this situation must be radically changed, and the Ummah encouraged to discuss, debate and account their rulers.

The future rulers must also show signs of humility and accountability in the face of sincere criticism. This is the only way that a Khilafah will succeed and become prosperous. It is the manner of the Khulafah Rashideen of old. Therefore it must be the job of the da'wah carriers to nurture this attitude and level of thinking in the Ummah, to bring them out of the mode of being told what to do and just doing it.

Effective da'wah only occurs when people become convinced of your ideas. They will never be convinced unless you take their circumstances and their thinking into consideration in your discussion with them. It is only through listening to them and relating to their circumstances, that they will begin to appreciate what you are saying. They will begin to ponder your statements closely, and examine their own ideas about those issues. This also produces in them the ability to think and examine issues deeply. If on the other hand people are won over by glorified statements and issues that they haven't truly appreciated, they become people who memorise and repeat things in parrot fashion. They are not convinced themselves, so how will they be able to convince others?

Often there are several reasons why da'wah carriers may be lacking in the skills to listen, debate and persuade others of their ideas. It could simply be because they lack the correct etiquette of discussion or more seriously it could be linked to pride and showing off. A da'wah carrier may want to maintain an 'image' of being knowledgeable, and therefore will not want to be seen to 'lose' any discussion; this leads them to being very unapproachable and even insincere. For example, if such a da'wah carrier gave a speech where he told the audience that they must work to establish the Khilafah State, but members of the audience disagreed, he might respond to their disagreement by ridiculing their points out of pride. This would be wrong and would distance the audience even further from what he is trying to convince them to accept. Another example is that of a Muslim trying to convince a non-Muslim of the superiority of Islam; but because he is showing off in front of his friends, he ends up causing the non-Muslim to become very bitter instead of swaying him to his side. These types of examples are evident for all of us to see, if they are down to lack of knowledge then the solution is to simply point out the mistake, however if it is down to pride or showing off, its dangers must be made clear to the one guilty of such an approach.

The Islamic approach is very clear and we must adopt this if we are going to be able to succeed in life as parents, siblings, husbands, wives, da'wah carriers, rulers, friends, employers or in any facet of life. If we look at the lessons from Islam we will see that Islam builds a conviction in people, so Allah (swt) does not demand belief without bringing a convincing proof. He (swt) says:

"Verily in the creation of the heavens and earth, the differing night and day, the floating ships in the sea bringing benefit to people, and what water Allah sends down from the sky bringing life to earth after drought. And creating all kinds of animals. The directing of winds and the clouds between the sky and earth are all signs for those who have intellect." [TMQ Al-Baqarah:164]

The Prophet (saw) taught us the best etiquette of discussion. Muslim reported on the authority of Mu'awiyyah b. al- Hakam as Salami who said: "I was praying behind the Messenger of Allah (saw) and someone in the congregation sneezed. I said [to him]: 'May Allah have mercy upon you.' The people stared at me, showing their disapproval of my act. I said: "Woe to me, why do you stare at me so? They started to strike their hands on their thighs and when I saw that they wanted me to become silent, I was angered but said nothing. When the Messenger of Allah finished the prayer - and may my father and mother be ransomed for him, I found no teacher better than him either before or after him - he did not scold, beat, or revile me but he simply said: 'Talking to others is not seemly during the Salah, for the Salah is for glorifying Allah, extolling His Greatness, and reciting the Qur'an.'

There are many lessons from the life of Prophet (saw) and his Sahabah (ra) regarding our manner of discussion and the need to always remain sincere, not to try and show to anyone that you are perfect and without mistakes. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud said: "O people! If somebody knows something, he can say it, but if he does not know it, he should say, 'Allah knows better,' for it is a sign of having knowledge to say about something which one does not know, 'Allah knows better.'" This is the characteristic of humbleness that we should possess so that we become convincing to the people because of the light of sincerity and not because of the forcefulness of our debate.

What distinguishes Islam from all other faiths and ideologies is the fact that it is built upon firm foundations that brings conviction to the mind. Therefore, we must remain sincere to it by not dictating to others but by opening the doors of dialogue to give them the opportunity to scrutinise and question.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Views on the news - 09/07/09

American Church posts derogatory sign against Islam

The sign reads “Islam is of the Devil” and was placed Sunday in the church’s front lawn reports The Independent Florida Alligator. It was vandalized and torn down that evening but was re-erected on Monday, said Terry Jones, the pastor at the church. Jones said that the church, located at 5805 NW 37th St., does not plan on taking down the sign, and that more messages will be displayed in the future. “We think we are losing our heritage as a Christian nation,” Jones said as one of the reasons the church put up the sign. Jones said Islam’s growing popularity in the United States needs to be addressed because Christians are not standing up for what they believe in.“To be a Christian, you would have to agree with that sign,” Jones said.He said the sign is not meant to attack individuals but to attack the religion of Islam because it is oppressive and violent.

Britain’s far rights group to plot a spectacular attack against Muslims?

Neo-Nazis are plotting a 'spectacular' terrorist attack on Britain to fuel racial tension, Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism officers fear. Senior officers have increased their surveillance of suspects to monitor their ability to carry out a deadly attack aimed at causing a 'breakdown in community cohesion'. The chilling warning comes after last month's startling gains by the BNP in the local and European elections which many fear may 'embolden' violent Far-Right extremists. Commander Shaun Sawyer, from the Met's specialist operations wing told a meeting of British Muslims last night: 'I fear that they will have a spectacular ... 'They will carry out an attack that will lead to a loss of life or injury to a community somewhere. They're not choosy about which community.' His comments came after Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson asked officers to examine what effect the recession could have on far-right violence. Till now far right organizations have been allowed to freely operate, publish literature and contest elections in Britain. However, the same privileges are in many cases denied to those Muslims who wish to practice Islam.

The racist killing of a Muslim women draws a muted response from the German government

Thousands of Egyptian mourners marched behind the coffin of the "martyr of the head scarf" – a pregnant Muslim woman who was stabbed to death in a Dresden courtroom on Wednesday in front of her young son. Many in her homeland were outraged by the attack and saw the low-key response in Germany as an example of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment. The woman's husband was critically wounded in the attack, after he tried to intervene and was stabbed by the attacker and accidentally shot by court security. "There is no God but God and the Germans are the enemies of God," chanted mourners for 32-year-old Marwa el-Sherbini in Alexandria, where her body was buried. "We will avenge her killing," her brother Tarek el-Sherbini told the Associated Press by telephone from the mosque where prayers were being recited in front of his sister's coffin. "In the west, they don't recognise us. There is racism." Indeed the German government is not even sure that it was a racist attack. A German government spokesman, Thomas Steg, said that if the attack was racist, the government "naturally condemns this in the strongest terms".

France begins legal process to ban the veil

French lawmakers opened hearings Wednesday on whether to ban the burka, calling in experts who said France should act to discourage Muslim women from wearing the head-to-toe veil. President Nicolas Sarkozy has already proclaimed the burka "not welcome" in secular France. Home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority, France has set up a special panel of 32 lawmakers to consider whether a law should be enacted to bar Muslim women from wearing the full veil, known as a burka or niqab. At the first hearing, two academics described wearing the burka as a throwback to a form of archaic Islam and a type of cult-like behaviour, incompatible with modern France. Islam expert Abdennour Bidar called the full veil a "pathology of Islam" embraced by hardline Salafists who tell Muslim women to cover themselves as a way to "get back to their roots."”It's up to the republic to help Islam in our country choose its destiny and help French Muslims resist this pressure," said Bidar."We must find ways to prevent the burka from spreading. Whether that would be a law or something else is not for me to say."

China continues to suppress its Muslim population

China's leaders vowed on Thursday to severely punish those responsible for bloodshed in the nation's far northwest that left at least 156 people dead and exposed deep ethnic tensions. The warning came as riot police and soldiers maintained a firm grip on Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region, where Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese faced off this week in China's worst ethnic conflict for decades."The planners of the incident, the organisers, key members and the serious violent criminals must be severely punished," President Hu Jintao and the other eight members of the ruling Communist Party's elite Politburo said. Hu was forced to abandon a visit to Italy for the Group of Eight summit and return to China to deal with the situation, in what observers said was an unprecedented move that illustrated the severity of the crisis. Xinjiang's eight million Uighurs have long complained about discrimination and repression under Chinese rule, and exiled leaders said those pent-up feelings of persecution led to Sunday's protests.

July 9 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Transforming Society based on the Sunnah

While the June elections in Iran have declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters are demanding a recount. Mousavi is part of the Reformist Movement in Iran – a group that is working towards establishing Capitalist values in the country. This phenomenon demonstrates that the 1979 revolution failed to harmonize the thoughts and emotions of the individuals in society. In order to change society one needs to change all the components of society – individuals who have permanent relationships based on a common set of thoughts, a common set of emotions and a common system – just as RasulAllah (saw) had initiated in Makkah and had been successful in Madinah.

In June of this year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in the Iranian presidential elections. Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of the other presidential candidates, challenged Ahmadinejad’s victory citing plausible election fraud. As a result, those who support Mousavi held protests to pressure the government to do a recount. Although all the protestors may not necessarily agree with Mousavi’s platform, it is clear that they are looking for change. A closer look at Mousavi reveals that he is part of the Reformist Movement in Iran - a collection of political parties and organizations who support the former President Mohammad Khatami's plans to change the Iranian system. This change does not involve closer adherence to the shariah, but instead plans for the greater application of Capitalist values.

This is based on Khatami’s statement, when he said: “The only way to save the country [Iran] is to establish democracy”. While it is interesting to note that some of the founding fathers of the Reformist Movement were originally part of the Iranian revolution in 1979, the question that must be asked is how is it possible for there to be many individuals in a so-called “Islamic State” calling in support of Capitalist values? After all, the Shah (whom they overthrew) upheld the very same Capitalist values.In order to understand what went wrong in Iran, it is important to understand what the components of society are and how to change them according to the method of RasulAllah (saw).

The Components of Society

A common misunderstanding is the idea that a nation or society is defined as a group of individuals. Such a definition of society is inaccurate as we do not consider, for example, a group of 1000 individuals on a ship to be a society or nation. However, we would consider a remote village with 50 people to be a society.

Upon a deep study of society and its components we see that a society is comprised of 2 parts:
1. Individuals and
2. Permanent relationships between these individuals.

These relationships are shaped and governed by:
1. Common thoughts,
2. Common emotions and
3. A common system.

The common thoughts are the “publicly traded” or acceptable ideas in a society that come from individuals and societal institutions that are related to the common system. The common emotions are the positive feelings and appreciation for the common thoughts and the common system that exist in society and the negative feelings and rejection of thoughts or systems that are alien to the society.The common system is made up of societal institutions, which implement political, economic, social, legal and judicial standards in the society. The political system enacts laws and institutes policies, which set the direction of the society in all walks of life. Thus, it is arguably the most influential institution. It decides social policies, such as the legality of alcohol, the limits of inter-gender relationships, and duties of parents towards their children. It decides economic policies, such as the legality of interest, the economic objectives sought in society, and the legal means of acquiring wealth. It also decides educational policies, which in turn determines the mainstream ideas and concepts held in society since mass education inculcates one generation after another with the society’s set of beliefs and ideals.

The Prophet (saw) addressed the importance of a common system in society through the following analogy:

"The example of those who maintain Allah's limits (hudood) and those who surpass them is like the example of those who share a boat. Some would occupy its upper deck and some its lower deck. The occupants of the lower deck would have to go to the upper deck to have access to the water. If they said, ‘why don't we drill a hole in our part (to directly access the water) and do not cause any inconvenience to those above us.’ If those on the upper deck let them do what they wanted then all of the passengers would sink. However, if they prevented them from doing so then all would be saved." [Bukhari]

Thus the protection of society will lead to the protection of the individuals in society. This protection must not only be manifested in rules and regulations but also in generating thoughts and emotions that will bind the individuals living in a society to each other.

How to Change Society: The Islamic Approach

Allah (swt) revealed:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
“Indeed, Allah does not change that which is in a people until they change what is within themselves” [TMQ 13:11]

The meaning of this verse is not, as some use it, that change will not occur in society or people until all the individuals change. Rather it is that change will not occur until the society changes what is in it which includes the individuals but also includes the common thoughts, common emotions and the common system in society. That is why it is important for us, who want to change the society, to define it correctly.

Referring to the Arabic in the above verse, the object of the verb (change) is the qawm - not the individual. The qawm (nation/society) is different to the fard (individual) and even afrad, a collection of individuals. Qawm, in the Arabic language, refers to a nation or people.While the mafhum (implicit meaning) of the ayah can be used as a proof that Allah (swt) will not change the condition of an individual until that individual works to change himself, the mantuq (explicit) subject matter of the ayah is not this, but rather it is the issue of collective change in society, not individual change.

This comprehensive understanding of qawm is indeed important because the ayah moves on to say that the change must be of “ma bi anfusihim”, that is, “that which is within themselves”, where the “ma” is ‘aam (general) and so includes everything that comprises the qawm.

Thus the rendered meaning is that Allah (swt) has decreed that He will not change the situation of any qawm until they collectively change all that is within themselves – the individuals, their thoughts and emotions, and the systems implemented in that society. For Islamic revival the requirement is Islamic thoughts and emotions, along with the Islamic system.

The example of the Prophet (saw) also illustrates for us how he exerted his utmost at changing the components of society in Makkah. After Allah (swt) revealed:

فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ (94) إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ (95) الَّذِينَ يَجْعَلُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آَخَرَ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Therefore, proclaim openly (Allah’s Message), that which you are commanded, and turn away from ‘Al-Mushrikun’: Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers. Who set up along with Allah another god, they will come to know.” [TMQ 15:94-96]

The Prophet (saw) along with the Sahabah (ra) moved from the secret phase of dawah to an open one calling all people to Islam. They would challenge the common thoughts, common emotions and the common system of Makkan society with the ayats that were being revealed such as worshipping other than Allah (swt), the use of riba, the cheating of scales in the marketplace and the practice of female infanticide.When Allah (swt) had given the Prophet (saw) and the Muahjireen (ra) the nusrah (material support) from the tribes of the Aws and Khazraj (i.e. the Ansar) living in Madinah, the Prophet (saw) was able to establish the Islamic State there. With its establishment, we can see its effect on the permanent relationships in society. The verses of the Qur’an concerning matters of worship, diet, morals, relationships and penalties were revealed. Khamr (intoxicants) and the flesh of swine were forbidden. Verses concerning the penal and criminal code were also revealed, as were those concerning business transactions, such as the complete prohibition of riba. Every time the verses that spoke to the people’s affairs in everyday life were revealed to Allah’s Messenger (saw), he explained them and ordered the Muslims to abide by them. He looked after the Muslims’ affairs by solving their problems and settling their disputes by his sayings, actions and by his silence over what happened right in front of him – which were all part of the divine guidance he received from Allah (swt). Life in Madinah continued to follow that course with its distinct Islamic viewpoint. As the society in Madinah was transformed into an Islamic society based on the Prophet’s (saw) method, its thoughts, emotions, and systems were all harmonized with the Islamic Aqeedah. Consequently, it was able to offer solutions to the life’s problems to all those that lived under its rule.

Conclusion on Iran

Now that we understand what society is and how to change it, we can return to the situation in Iran. While the Iranian revolution in 1979 changed certain aspects of the system, there was a failure in harmonizing the thoughts and the emotions of the individuals in society with Islam. This is due to the fact that the Prophet’s (saw) method was not used to transform the society, as he had done with the people of Madinah. Since Islamic methods were not used to transform the Iranian society, it resulted in a mixture of contradictory thoughts, ideas and systems. This inevitably resulted in the people looking towards other ideas and systems such as freedom and democracy as a solution to life’s problems.

It is also important to note that while various media outlets and literature will refer to Iran as an “Islamic State”, this statement is an incorrect assertion. There are many aspects of the systems in Iran that contradict the Hukm Sharai’ and emanate from other systems. If we refer to the Iranian constitution there are numerous contradictions that exist between it and the Islam. For example, Article 115 states, “The President must be elected from among religious and political personalities possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a good past-record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country. This relates to the ‘qualifications of the president’”. Being of Iranian origin and nationality is an indication that the constitution is for an Iranian Republic with Islam as its religion, not a constitution for an Islamic State whose authority belongs to the Khaleefah ruling all the Muslim lands by Islam.Iran should be a reminder for us in that if we do not follow the method of the Prophet (saw) to change society and if we do not implement Islam comprehensively, we will fail both in this life and the hereafter.

Allah (swt) says :
إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلَاغًا لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ

“Verily, in this (the Qur'an) there is a plain Message for people who worship Allah.” [TMQ 21:106]