Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recommended Islamic YouTube Channels

The following are a list of Islamic YouTube channels that we recommend subscribing to:

https://www.youtube.com/user/hizbchannel

https://www.youtube.com/user/nahdaproduction

https://www.youtube.com/user/fazzamin

https://www.youtube.com/user/AhlNussrah

https://www.youtube.com/user/UmmahVideo

https://www.youtube.com/user/abugabriel

America's 'pivot' and North Korea





Tensions have reached unprecedented levels in the Asia-pacific region, ever since North Korea tested a long range rocket in December 2012, which put a satellite into space. Subsequent sanctions by the UN led to North Korea conducting an underground nuclear test on the 12 February 2013, its third in seven years. This resulted in fresh sanctions on Pyongyang by the UN and set the stage for aggressive statements and actions by both Washington and Pyongyang. Events have now escalated with the US dispatching two additional destroyers to the region, as well as sending missile defense units to Guam. North Korea reciprocated by scrapping the Korean War armistice, threatening to attack both the US and South Korea with military strikes and declared it has entered into a state of war with South Korea.

The aggressive statements by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un led to the US escalating tensions through a number of provocative actions in its annual US-South Korea military exercises, which included the dispatch of a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on a training mission over the Korean peninsula. US officials described this as a way of underscoring the US commitment to its longstanding regional allies, Japan and South Korea. This is a departure for the US who usually calls for calm when North Korea ratchets up aggression and in the past has almost always called for talks to defuse tensions. On this occasion the US responded to each North Korean provocation with a stronger signal of its own.

The US signed a new military agreement with South Korea that will see more US troops on the Korean peninsula due to provocations by North Korea.[1] “This allows both nations to jointly respond to the North's local provocations, with the South taking the lead and the US in support,” Kim Min-Seok said. “It will have the effect of preventing the North from daring to provoke us.”[2] The existing agreements between the US and South Korea allow for US intervention should a full-scale conflict break out. There is no provision for support in the case of a low-level incident, which is what takes place most of the time. The US provoked North Korea in order to bolster its presence in the region and increase its military footprint as it continues its ‘pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific. This is why Obama reiterated:“Washington has an obligation (to) defend the homeland (and) reassure South Korea and Japan that America’s defense commitments remain firm.”
North Korea has followed suit and continues to increase aggressive and unpredictable behaviour giving the impression that it is capable of doing anything, including using nuclear weapons, all in the hope of winning concessions at the negotiating table. With each provocation from the US, North Korea reciprocated with more saber rattling. With the US pivot to Asia in full swing more and more US military hardware is making its way to the region and the official justification for this is North Korea.

Since North Korea began conducting nuclear tests, the US position has been that Pyongyang should immediately stop as this is not favorable for regional peace and security. In 1994 an agreement was reached between the US and North Korea regarding North Korea’s nuclear reactors. This agreement called for North Korea to bring to halt its nuclear programme and shut down its reactors. This was in exchange for the US supplying two light-water type reactors. But the US failed to honor its part of the promise and North Korea resumed its nuclear activities. This has been the case ever since, the US offers a range of promises which do not materialize so North Korea continues with its nuclear programme.
The North Korean Nuclear weapons stand-off with the US is a direct result of US attempts to contain China. Ever since North Korea began conducted nuclear tests both China and the US have pursued multilateral talks, but both nations are looking achieve different objectives. China has worked for the reunification of North and South Korea, whilst the US has acted as an obstacle to this. The statements from such meetings have been contradictory where China has been pessimistic about the talks with distance on most issues whilst the US has continually remarked successful negotiations. As one policy paper: outlined “These U.S. troops are in the region not simply to fight the "terrorist groups" causing local instability, but to enhance U.S. military control over territory in the South China Sea. This strategic area with vast potential oil reserves sits aside the shipping lanes to the Middle East and offers access to much of Southeast Asia. The expanded U.S. presence and nascent military alliances with Southeast Asian nations exacerbates Chinese anxieties and impedes independent accords among Asian states through such mechanisms as the ASEAN Regional Forum.”[3]

The US has already begun calming matters. The visit of Indian Joint Secretary and Head of East Asian Affairs Gautam Bambawale to Pyongyang, which was conducted in secrecy, suggests a process of de escalation is afoot. Stratfor outlined his visit did not follow normal protocols and appears to have been planned within the last week or so. Stratfor believes Washington may have pushed for Bambawale to visit North Korea, in advance of his April 15 visit to Beijing, to help defuse the situation on the peninsula. Soon after this visit the US has confirmed it will delay the test of its intercontinental Ballistic missile (ICBM) in order to defuse tensions.[4] Although the rise in tensions in the North Korean crisis are from the recent long range missile testing they can also be seen in light of the fact that North Korea carries far reaching implications amongst the leading nations, its crucial positioning in the area proves to carry great geopolitical vantage especially to those intended on spreading their influence in the region.






The Sanctity of Human Life


Our world today has unfortunately become accustomed to sights of death and destruction. TV stations and news sites have been broadcasting horrifying images from the bomb blasts in Boston. Among the 3 victims killed in the bomb blast was an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, who was waiting to see his father cross the finish line. Indeed, this is a terrible calamity.

The tragedy of this event, however, is part of a global phenomenon where we witness people failing to uphold the sanctity of human life.  In fact the Muslim Ummah witnesses the bloodshed of innocents on a routine basis, particularly in Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria:
·       In Pakistan, on Sunday, the day before the bombing in Boston, people were greeted with similar scenes of death and destruction. However, as reported by CBS, these deaths were caused by "suspected US drone" strikes. The strikes did not hit a military base, but were directed towards a house, which resulted in the death of 4 victims whose identities were not confirmed by Pakistani officials.
·       In Burma, last month (March 2013), there was a massacre committed by a Buddhist mob, in the Central Myanmar town of Meiktila. They had surrounded the Muslims who were forced to bow down to the young monks. Those who refused to bow down before the monks were beaten, stabbed or burnt alive. Out of the 100 Muslims there, 29 were murdered in this gruesome manner. 
·       In Afghanistan, on April 8th 2013, a week before the Boston bombing, many news outlets including the BBC and Al-Jazeerah reported the death of 11 Afghan children along with 1 woman in a NATO airstrike in the Shighal district of Kunar province.
·       In Iraq, on Monday April 15th, 50 people were killed and 300 were injured in 12 separate bombings.
·       In Syria, also on the Sunday before the Boston bombing, 25 people were killed in two separate airstrikes by the al-Assad regime. One airstrike hit the province of Haska, while the other targeted rebel held areas in Damascus.

When reflecting on these incidents, we must ask ourselves: why do those who lead the world today view life as so insignificant and worthless?

Islam: Innocent life is Sacred
Allah (swt) has clearly made the life of the human being sacred and has made it a tremendous crime to kill a person.  Allah (swt) revealed;

"If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all of humankind."[TMQ 5:32]

According to this ayah, the killing of just one soul carries the sin of killing all of humanity. Those who commit such crimes will face a severe punishment by Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment.  Ibn Katheer (rh), narrated how Uthman (ra) understood this ayah in his tafseer:  "I entered on `Uthman when he was under siege in his house and said, `I came to give you my support. Now, it is good to fight (defending you) O Leader of the Faithful!' He said, `O Abu Hurayrah! Does it please you that you kill all people, including me' I said, `No.' He said, `If you kill one man, it is as if you killed all people. Therefore, go back with my permission for you to leave. May you receive your reward and be saved from burden.' So I went back and did not fight.'''" It should be clear that this occurred while Uthman (ra) was the Khaleefah – the leader of the Muslim Ummah – and he knew his life was in danger.  Uthman (ra) – because he refused to fight – was martyred by those that had laid siege to his house.

We all need to put this incident in perspective. Could we imagine any leader of the world today – be it Obama (USA), Cameron (UK), Hollande (France), Putin (Russia) or anyone else – refusing to fight the people surrounding them because they held the sanctity of life to such high esteem? So high that they were willing to give up their own lives to uphold it?  Indeed, such is the power of the Islamic Aqeedah (belief) that it can raise people to such heights!

Liberal-Democracy: Innocent life is Cheap
In sharp contrast to Uthman (ra), liberal-democratic leaders from British PM Winston Churchill to the US Secretary of State Colin Powell have all gone on the record to express how cheap human life is to them. Winston Churchill said the following about using chemical warfare in Iraq in 1919: "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas... I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes."  Colin Powell, regarding his war on Iraq a few decades later, when asked about the number of Iraqis killed, said, "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in."

As if not satisfied with direct involvement in murder, liberal-democratic politicians eagerly support the tyrant rulers who spill the blood of innocents without hesitation. The former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said about Bashar al-Assad in 2011, "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's [referring to Bashar al-Assad] a reformer."  In 2009, Senator John Kerry and his wife had dinner with the murderous tyrant and his wife. Beyond this, it is well known that the US, UK and France support the tyrant rulers when they kill their populations – be it the Chilean dictator Augustus Pinochet who killed and oppressed thousands of his own people (he was openly supported by the US) or the Algerian dictatorship (supported by Europe) that killed hundreds of thousands in the 1990s when the country overwhelmingly voted for Islamic rule.

As we can see, this attitude that the liberal-democratic leadership has towards human beings transcends borders and transcends generations. It is firmly rooted in the belief that man lives on earth to do what he wants and humans are not accountable to Allah (swt), the Creator of all things. This belief leads to policies such as "the end justifies the means", which makes it acceptable to kill people anywhere in order to achieve the objectives of the elite. However, the liberal-democratic approach to foreign policy is best summarized by Lord Palmerston (an 18th century English Statesman) who said: “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” The statement succinctly illustrates that the liberal-democratic philosophy does not care about human life, but merely values personal interests. And this is exactly why the politicians who uphold this belief are willing to go to war and use their drones and other instruments of death and slaughter. In fact, the US President Woodrow Wilson, who took America into World War I stated unequivocally: "Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?"

It is important to recognize the human cost of this ideology. As Muslims we know this by the countless images on the Internet of innocent men, women and children who die needlessly to fuel the industrial and commercial rivalries of today’s leading nations of the world. However, those who live in these leading nations, and are unaccustomed to these images, need to reflect on how the killing of innocent civilians affects the people who fight such wars on behalf of their governments. On the 10th anniversary of the war on Iraq, Tomas Young, a disabled Iraq war veteran, who spoke out against the war, decided to end his life. In his letter to former US President George Bush and former US Vice-President Dick Cheney explaining his decision to end his life, noted the following on the cost of killing innocent people: "I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief."

When we are struck by these horrifying deaths – regardless of where – it is important for us to reflect on the real causes of why people had died in such horrible ways. It is easy for the agenda-driven media and opportunistic politicians to blame this individual or that group in order to divert people from thinking about the root causes of this world-wide problem. Consequently, for all of us – both Muslims and non-Muslims alike – it is necessary to reflect deeply on the underlying belief that permeates the institutions that govern the world today and understand how this belief is ultimately the cause for the disdain for human life.

“O you who believe, answer the call of Allah and His messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life.”
[TMQ 8:24]

Q&A: Meaning of Khums (the fifth share) in the verse of booty | Sheikh Ata’ Abu Rashta



The following is the translation of an Arabic Q&A from the website of the noble jurist and mufassir Sheikh `Ata’ Ibn Khalil Abu Rashta (Allah preserve him).


Question: 

It is stated in the book "The one in authority over the Muslims (Khalifah) is entrusted to distribute and dispose of the booties and the spoils of war as he deems it appropriate". Then what sense the stipulation "a fifth share…." does have in the speech of Allah (SWT)? As He (SWT) said: 
(واعلموا أنما غنمتم من شيء فأن لله خمسه)
“And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah and to the Messenger.” 

Does it signify that if Khalifah intends to distribute the booty and gives the bait-ul-mal it share, he is restricted up to the fifth share (this is contrary to what I have understood about this matter) or he can, for example, take half of the booty for bait-ul-mal and distribute the second half among the soldiers.

In short, how to understand the stipulation of fifth share in the verse, as long as the distribution of all the booty is entrusted to the Imam to decide? May Allah bless you.

Answer: 

Allah (SWT) says:

(وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ آمَنْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ)

(And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire in war, a fifth share is for Allah and the Messenger, and to the near relatives, the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer in need. [This you must observe] if you believe in Allah and what We revealed to Our servant on the day when the true was distinguished from the false, the day when the two hosts met in battle. Allah has power over all things).

The scholars opinions in the interpretation of the Ayah:

Some of them said that Al Khums (the fifth share) has been specified to be divided into five shares: one share to Allah and the Messenger (saw), another for the family of the Messenger (saw), the other three to the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer. According to this opinion, the share of Allah and the Messenger is one.

Some of them said that distribution of Al Khums is specified but to six shares: one share to Allah, one to the Messenger, one for the family of the Messenger (saw), the remaining three to the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer.  

Some of them said that it is all for Allah (SWT) and those categories mentioned thereafter are as a way of preference and not for restriction. The Imam may dispose this fifth share for the welfare of the Muslims in accordance with his ijtihaad and the most correct opinion for us is this one. As to why, so it is for the following reason:

Allah (SWT) says: (And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire in war, a fifth share is for Allah and the Messenger, and to the near relatives, the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer in need)

Here we see that the detail has come after generalization. If the detail is aimed at demonstrating the preference of the said categories, it does not suspend the generalization; rather the generality remains as it is. The preference is given to these categories without excluding others i.e. this preference is not intended for restriction.

And therefore it is as such (And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire in war, a fifth share is for Allah…), i.e. are means for drawing closer to Allah (SWT). Then He (SWT) mentioned some segments preferred to others, in order to get closer to Allah (SWT) and not for restriction.

It should be noted that the word used "Annama (whatever)" is not "Innama (only)". Rather, it is Annama i.e. whatever, so the verse means whatever booty you may acquire in war.

Example of such language and expression is cited in this Ayah:

(مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِلَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ)
(Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, Jibrael (Gabriel) and Mikael (Michael), then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers). 

So, mentioning of Gabriel and Michael after the angels does not signify that the hostility restricted to only Gabriel and Michael and whoever shows enmity toward other categories of angels, it is not applicable to them. Rather, the particularization of Gabriel and Michael has come after generalization of the angels, and it is due to certain feature in Gabriel and Michael in terms of preference, without calling off the generalization of angels.

And thus, the phrase, (for the Messenger, and to the near relatives, the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer in need) is particularization of certain segments after the generalization, in order to get closer to Allah through every aspects of charity (a fifth share is for Allah)… i.e. it falls under the category of "particularization after the generalization" due to the trait in the aforesaid categories in terms of great reward. This view is confirmed by the point that the Ayah did not say "فأن خمسه لله وللرسول وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَى...", nor did it say "فأن لله وللرسول ولذي القربى واليتامى والمساكين وابن السبيل خمسه...", for it is equal between the two ends in being subject and predicate i.e. from grammatical point of view. So, the meaning of the sentence is not complete except with their completion. Rather, the noble Ayah was stated as (a fifth share is for Allah) i.e. the sentence can be completed here.

Therefore, the preferable to us is what we have mentioned in Al-Amwal (the Funds book), i.e. the categories stated in the Ayah are not for restricting the aspects of khums disbursement. Rather, Al Khums (the fifth share) is deposited in Bait-Al-Mal and is spent based on the opinion and ijtihaad of Khalifa in the best interests of Muslims. However, it is the best to spend Al Khums in the said categories if all or any of them exists, or else the Imam may utilize it in the best interests of Muslims, i.e. in looking after their affairs, fulfilling their needs and maintaining their security etc. 

For your information, Imam Malik says concerning the distribution of Al Khums, it belongs to Imam to utilize it in the interests of Muslims.
    
3th Rabi-ul-Awwal 1433 AH.
26th January, 2012 CE.

How Will the Islamic Ummah Revive Today?

The following is the translation of an Arabic leaflet issued at the time of Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani.


Revival is the intellectual elevation. While the economical elevation is not a revival. An evidence of that is Kuwait which is economically much more elevated than some of the European states like Sweden, Holland and Belgium: Yet Sweden, Holland and Belgium are elevated and Kuwait is not. The ethical elevation is not a revival as well. An evidence of that is that Madina today is superior to any country in the world ethically (morally), yet it is not elevated. Thus revival is the intellectual elevation.

But this revival could be true (proper) revival or untrue. So America, Europe and Russia are revived countries, but their revival is incorrect. Because it is not established on a spiritual foundation, since the true revival is the intellectual revival which is established on the spiritual foundation. If the intellectual elevation is not based on the spiritual foundation then it is not a revival but an incorrect one. Thus there is not any true revival except that based on the foundation of the Islamic thought, i.e. except the Islamic revival, because it is alone the intellectual elevation based on the spiritual foundation.

The way to initiate this revival is to establish the ruling (government) upon a thought, not upon systems and laws and legislation. Establishing the state upon canons and laws will not create a revival, on the contrary it will be deluded and a distraction from the revival. Revival will not occur unless the ruling and authority is established upon a thought, then the daily solutions (treatments) of life's problems emanate from this thought; that is the systems and legislation and laws emanate from it. So when Europe revived this was upon a thought which was the detachment of the religion from the State, adding the liberties (freedoms) as well. The revival of Russia was based on a thought, which was materialism and the materialistic evolution, that is the transference of things (naturally) from one situation to a better situation. So Russia established the ruling (government) on this thought in 1917 and thus revived. When Arabs revived they also revived on the Islamic thought which the Prophet (SAW) brought as a message from Allah (SWT), and established the ruling and authority (sultan) upon it. So the revival occurred to the Arabs when they embraced it and established the ruling (government) upon it. All this is (decisive) evidence that the way for initiating the revival is establishing the ruling upon a thought.

The evidence that establishing the ruling on systems and legislation does not initiate revival is what Mustafa Kamal made in Turkey where he established the ruling (government) on systems and canons to create a revival. So he adopted the Western systems and laws and started to implement them, and implemented them actually by force, but he did not create a revival, and accordingly Turkey did not revive; rather it declined from the level which it held before. Look at Turkey nowadays, it is one of the most declined countries. While Lenin who came in the same period in which Mustafa Kamal came managed to elevate Russia effectively, and look at it today as one of the strongest states (N.B. before its recent collapse). The reason for that is that Lenin established the ruling on a thought which is the communist thought. From this thought the solutions of the daily issues emanated, i.e. the systems and the canons. That is to say, he started to treat the problems by laws adopted from the thought, upon which he established the ruling. Therefore Lenin established the ruling in Russia in 1917 upon a thought thus he revived Russia. And Mustafa Kamal established the ruling in 1924 upon systems and legislation to revive Turkey but he failed, rather it declined. Establishing the government upon the systems and legislation was the reason that prevented Turkey from revival because it was deluded with it.

The most recent example of this is what: Jamal Abdul Nasser has done in Egypt. Since 1952 he established the government on systems and legislation. At the beginning he established it upon hanging the ruling system by replacing the monarchical system with the republican system and upon distributing the farming lands. Then he moved further to adopt social systems of what is called the state socialism, but he did not initiate a revival. On the contrary, Egypt nowadays from intellectual, economic and political aspects is more declined than it was before 1952, i.e. before the military coup. When comparing its members of parliament today, i.e. the National Council, with its parliamentary members before 1952 from the angle of their intellectual and political capability, the intellectual and political difference appears quite clear. The situation in Egypt prevents the revival, because establishing the ruling upon the systems and legislation does not initiate revival. What creates the revival is only establishing the ruling upon a thought.

However, establishing the government upon a thought does not mean to make a military coup and seize the power and establish the government upon the thought, since this will not found a revival, and moreover is unlikely to settle in power. Rather it means to explain to the Ummah or the stronger group of the Ummah the thought upon which it is intended to revive the Ummah, and direct itself in the battle of life on the basis of this thought; then the government is established upon this thought by the Ummah and thus the revival occurs surely. So the essence of the revival is not seizing the power, rather it is unifying the Ummah on the thought and making it direct its life on this thought. Then the power is taken and the government is established upon that thought. Seizing the power is not an aim in itself, and it is incorrect to be an aim. Rather, it is a method for the revival by establishing the government upon the thought. Therefore the ruling is taken to establish it upon the thought, in order that the revival ours. The proper example for that is that which the Prophet (SAW) did. When he was sent by Allah the Supreme with the Message of Islam, he invited the people to the Islamic creed, i.e. to the thought. And when he gathered the people of the Madina, Al Aws and Al Khazraj, on the Islamic creed, i.e. on the thought, and made them direct their life according to it, he took the ruling (power or authority) in the Madina and established upon the Islamic creed and started to say: "I was ordered to fight against the people until they say: La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah. If they said it, they protected of me their blood and property except for the right upon their property." Thus he started to call for the thought, and accordingly the revival occurred in Madina, then in the Arabs, then in every people who entered Islam, i.e. embraced the thought and had the authority which takes care of its affairs established upon it.

Today, the Islamic Ummah in all its countries is undoubtedly declined, and it was trying to revive for more than two hundred years, and it failed to revive until now. The reason is because their governments are built on systems and legislation. And the ruling whether established on non-Islamic systems, i.e. kufr systems as it is the case in most of the Islamic countries, or established on Islamic systems and divine rules as was the case in some few countries as Yemen before the revolution of As-Sallal, they are all declined, and have no revival. The reason of this is that the ruling is established on systems not on a thought. Even establishing the ruling upon Islamic systems and divine rules does not create a revival. That which initiates the revival is establishing the ruling upon the Islamic thought, i.e. upon the Islamic creed. So establishing the State upon "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah" is that which creates the revival. But establishing it upon the Mazhab of Abu Hanifa or upon the book of Tahtaoui or upon the divine rules does not create a revival. Instead, it must be established upon "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah", then after that the divine rules are adopted in their capacity as commands from Allah, and they are implemented as His orders and prohibitions, not because they are good and beneficial or because they contain a benefit or the like. Rather because they are revealed from Allah, that is derived from "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah", and by such the revival occurs.

So in order to revive the Islamic Ummah today, she must make the Islamic creed the basis which directs its life, and establish the ruling and authority upon it, and treat the daily affairs by the rules which emanate from this creed, i.e. by the divine rules in their capacity as prescriptions from Allah only not due to any other description. Thus the revival definitely occurs, rather the correct revival not any revival. Thus the Islamic Ummah returns back to hold the seat of the highest glory and to take the initiative to the world again.
This is the way to revive the Islamic Ummah truly, and along this path Muslims have to proceed.

Al-Waqf (Endowment) in Islam | Ustadh Abu Anas

Video of circle on the topic of Al-Waqf (Endowment) in Islam by Ustadh Abu Anas

What the Khilafah Is and Is Not?

Talk by Br Wassim Doureihi on What the Khilafah Is and Is Not?

Stan Grant speaks to Uthman Badar about Boston bombings | April 2013

Interview of Uthman Badar (media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia) with Stan Grant on Newsnight 22/04/13 (Skynews) about the Boston bombings and broader related issues.

Connect with Uthman on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/Agq3zk) and/or Twitter (http://bit.ly/HzGtyk).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q&A: Timings of Salah (prayer) by Sheikh Ata’ Abu Rashta



The following is the translation of an Arabic Q&A from the website of the noble jurist and mufassir Sheikh `Ata’ Ibn Khalil Abu Rashta (Allah preserve him).


Question:

I am among the Shabab from Finland with a question regarding timings for Iftar in our region where even if the sun goes down, it is not ‘dark as night’ rather it remains like the twilight which appears shortly after the sunset. Please note that I live in a remote area of northern Finland which is about 800 km away from its capital Helsinki and there is hardly any group of Muslim.

So, how can we ascertain the time of fasting at dawn? Since the time of what appears to be sunset is about 11.00 PM, while the time of Fajr is difficult to ascertain due to the absence of what is generally considered to be ‘night’. So is it correct for us to delay our Ramadan fasts to a later date?? Also does the absence of a determined time of fasting (Imsak) affect the correctness of fasting, since the fasting begins (when you can distinguish the white thread from the black thread at dawn), or it is proper for me to rely on the timings determined in the capital Helsinki??

Answer: 

The timings are the reasons for prayer and fasting, the command becomes effective when the reason exists and ceases when the reason is absent. That is why the reason is primarily called: “Al Sabab (the cause) while in terminology it is every principled visible attribute which is considered proper evidence for the command to be effective and not for legislating the command.” i.e. the reasons have been set by the legislator so that the addressee of the command (المكلف) can understand the command of the legislator. Thus when the reason is present, the command will be effective; and when it is absent, the command also will be non-existent.

Thus prayer or fasting are not permitted on the timings of a region other than your region, be it the Fajr prayer or the Dhuhr etc…similarly the timings of fasting (Imsak) or of breaking the fast are not permitted on the timings of the Helsinki masjid in the capital while you are residing the north of Finland 800 km away.

Dear Brother, it appears that your problem is the timing of sunset and Fajr (dawn) for the purpose of fasting and breaking of fast; this issue is as follows:

Since the timing of sunset is known, the fasting person shall break his fast on sunset even if the horizon is like that of twilight; this is because the Azaan of Maghreb is at the time of sunset. In a narration by Muslim, a person who came to ask the Prophet (saw) about the timing of salah, the Prophet (saw) said:

«...ثمَّ أَمَرَهُ فَأَقَامَ بِالْمَغْرِبِ حِينَ وَقَعَتِ الشَّمْسُ»
He then commanded him for the evening prayer, when the sun had set.

« ثُمَّ أَمَرَهُ بِالْمَغْرِبِ حِينَ وَجَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ...»
He then commanded him for the evening prayer, when the sun had set.

i.e. when the sun had set, and this is the time of breaking of fast and not when the twilight disappears which is the time for Isha prayer as mentioned in the above hadith:

« ثُمَّ أَمَرَهُ فَأَقَامَ الْعِشَاءَ حِينَ غَابَ الشَّفَقُ...»
He then commanded him and the night prayer was pronounced when the twilight had disappeared.

« ثُمَّ أَمَرَهُ بِالْعِشَاءِ حِينَ وَقَعَ الشَّفَقُ...»
He then commanded him and the night prayer was pronounced when the twilight had disappeared.

i.e. when the twilight glow has disappeared. Thus the presence of twilight glow does not affect the breaking of fast. For some scholars, the twilight is the red glow after the sunset; while for some other scholars, it is the whiteness that follows the red glow after sunset. Thus the disappearance of the twilight glow, which is the time of Isha prayer, is the disappearance of the red glow, or the disappearance of the white glow after the red one. Ibn al Atheer says: “The two extremes of twilight lie upon the red glow visible in the West after the sunset, or upon the remaining white glow on the Western horizon after the stated red glow. The first is position atken by Imam Shaf’ee, while Imam Abu Haneefa has taken the latter position.”

As for Fajr when the fasting has to begin, it is the Azaan and prayer of al Fajr. In the referred hadith by Muslim, the Prophet (saw) said:

« فَأَقَامَ الْفَجْرَ حِينَ انْشَقَّ الْفَجْرُ...»
and he observed the dawn prayer when there was clear daylight.

« فَأَمَرَ بِلَالًا فَأَذَّنَ بِغَلَسٍ، فَصَلَّى الصُّبْحَ حِينَ طَلَعَ الْفَجْرُ...»
He commanded Bilal, and he uttered the call to prayer in the darkness of night preceding daybreak and he said the morning prayer till dawn had appeared…

While in the hadith narrated in Tirmidhi, when Jibreel led the Prophet (saw) in Fajr, it is narrated:

«ثُمَّ صَلَّى الفَجْرَ حِينَ بَرَقَ الفَجْرُ، وَحَرُمَ الطَّعَامُ عَلَى الصَّائِمِ...».
He then performed Fajr salah when dawn broke and the fasting person was prohibited from eating…

Ibn Atheer says: ‘Ghalas’ is the darkness of night when mixed with the morning light.

The Fajr here is the Fajr Sadiq when the darkness of night changes towards whiteness even if there is partial darkness as is the case in your region. When this darkness changes towards whiteness and visibly spreads over the horizon, you must begin the fast and pray fajr. This is different from the Fajr Kathib which is when the darkness changes to white but appears rising up towards the sky but does not spread across. At this time, fajr is not to be performed because it is still part of night and one may eat and drink…i.e. this is not when one has to necessarily begin his fast.

The whiteness that is mixed with the darkness of night at the time of Fajr Sadiq does not mean that one can see everything, rather if one observes the eastern horizon he finds that the ‘partial’ darkness has begun to disperse, i.e. the darkness has begun to spread across right and left on the horizon as different from a little earlier.

Ibn Hajar in Fatah al Bari, explaining the hadith narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abdullah ibn Masood(Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (saw) said:

"The Adhan of Bilal should not restrain anyone among you from eating Sahur (last meal before daybreak during the month of Ramadan) for he announces Adhan (or he calls) at (the fag end of) the night to return those who stand for prayer among you, and to awaken those who are sleeping among you. And he said: The dawn is not like it, as one says (and he lifted his hand) till he (dispersed his fingers) and said: It is like this. And Zuhair (r.a) said: With his index fingers over one another and extended it towards his right and his left.

Ibn Hajar, explaning this hadith said:
“Morning follows the sleep, so it is appropriate to turn those people who are awake to prepare themselves and understand the virtue and preference of early period, and Allah knows the best…”. By saying that “he raised his fingers”, it is meant that he indicated…His saying: “he lifted his fingers and dispersed them”, …it means that he gathered his fingers and then dispersed them to indicate the Fajr Sadeq because it rises visibly and spreads over the horizon horizontally towards right and left as distinct from Fajr Katheb which the Arabs refer to as the tail of the wolf which appears high in the sky and then dilutes or reduces, this is what is indicated by saying he raised his hands up and brought it down..” which is visible across the width horizontally.

In Conclusion: Since there is no reliably determined timings for fasting in your region, you act as follows:

·        Break your fast when the sun sets…
·        And when whiteness which appears horizontally and is more than the ‘partial’ darkness, which you know is the condition in your region during the nights, i.e. when you can see a visible change towards whiteness horizontally across right and left in the eastern side, this is the Fajer Sadeq. So you start the fast and pray Fajr…
·        So you spend all possible efforts in this matter and take the help of your brothers who live near you, seek their advice, and start your fast and break your fast accordingly. Take precautions for starting and breaking the fast, and Allah (swt) is oft forgiving and merciful, He (swt) said:

وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ﴾ [الحج: 78]
“and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship,” [TMA al-Hajj:78].

It is narrated in Bayhaqee in his Sunan al Kubra:

«إِنَّ هَذَا الدِّينَ مَتِينٌ، فَأَوْغِلْ فِيهِ بِرِفْقٍ».
"Definitely this religion is strong, so go deeply into it with softness/kindness."

May Allah (swt) accept the Salah and fasting from you and us and all Muslims, Allah be with you.

10th Ramadan, 1432 A.H
10th August, 2011 C.E


Continuing the Dawah until it Reaches the Whole World | Br Wassim Doureihi

Weekly talk given by Br Wassim Doureihi on Continuing the Dawah until it Reaches the Whole World

The Self-Defeating Mimic: A Walking Paradox



A liberating moment occurs when the oppressed can think beyond the imaginary horizon constructed by the oppressor. A liberation of the consciousness and the inauguration of an emancipatory trajectory begins when the colonized realizes that what his oppressor had deemed desirable and natural is in fact undesirable and artificial and that which was deemed impossible is in fact inevitable. Servility however is the state in which the colonizer sets the ‘universe of possibilities’ for the colonized, as what is possible or impossible is determined by the scope of action and the narrative super-imposed on the colonized subject. He is at once paralyzed, yet ignorant of his state of servility as he continues to pursue the limited trajectories for so-called liberation within the scope of ‘possibility’ pre-set by the violent colonizer. History testifies that this is indeed the epitome of servility (for the colonized) and the strongest medium and expression of power (for the colonizer). For what is freedom, but and fundamentally the freedom of the consciousness and what is power but the ability to paralyze the undesirable actions of your opponent? A victim is one who is physically and coercively unable to take particular actions. A complacent and facile slave is one who is unaware that the possibility of these actions even exist. And if he is aware of their “logical” possibility, the status-quo remains desirable.

Following the first wave of colonization, the oppressed reacted by forming anti-colonial nationalisms and paradoxically legitimizing the very principles and antagonisms which had driven and justified the drive for colonization; nationalism. In their desire to resist colonial violence and subjugation they responded to Western nationalism with their own primitive and nativist nationalism and subsequently limited their scope of action to that determined by the theoretical boundaries and borders of Western thought and Modernity. A more liberating and trans-national venture which would united the oppressed as opposed to those within colonially constructed borders would have required that they un-neutralize their neutralized consciousness and transcend the realm of the “possible” into the realm of the “impossible” . Neo-colonialism ushers in a similar situation. The very same authoritarian regimes and totalitarian state-machinery set up by colonialism are confronted by neo-colonial narratives of “Democracy” and “Human Rights”. Mimics and emulators, despite valorizing and essentializing history, seemingly forget the experience of their predecessors. What is all the more perplexing is when change and reform is sought within the political architecture of these authoritarian regimes despite their intrinsic transgressiveness and foundational illegitimacy. “Formal” politics or participation is taken to be the only legitimate and ‘possible’ method for change, while a ‘Democratic’ discourse is deemed the only valid and legitimate discourse. At once, the agent both constrains and colonizes himself. Once again, what is possible and desirable is determined by those external to the oppressed, by the oppressor.

Deifying Democracy

A post-Arab Spring is now vulnerable to the same paradox. Demands of the revolting populations are products of the structural contradictions underpinning the colonial state, and those who have come to formal albeit fictious “power” are espousing neo-Colonial discourse in response. This is not because the colonial discourse effectively and actually addresses these demands, for the very same structural contradictions like poverty and political corruption exist in the discourses place of origin (the ‘West) but rather because the mimics and emulators are unable to transcend the realm of what is “possible” or “practical”. Only two possibilities exist for the colonized subject, a fixated and natural dichotomy; democracy or dictatorship. The insistence of the mimic on importing a Democratic discourse despite its Eurocentric exteriority, paradoxes, and contradictions tells us something about the mentality of the mimic. He pushes the contradictions and paradoxes of Western through a level further through his insidious syncretism between Islamic thought, and the colonizers discourse. Democracy, at once is expected to retain its authenticity while at the same time subscribing to incommensurable ontological foundations of Tawhid. It (“Democracy”) supposedly signifies both the absolute authority of the ’demos’ with, the sovereignty of the Absolute Creator – Allah. Consequently, Democracy is stripped and eviscerated of its ‘demos’ while the Absolute Creator’s sovereignty and temporal will is rendered abstract, contingent, and at best, nominal. A pitiful act of mimicry, devoid of any intellectual substance in which the Islamic activist becomes an emulating disillusioned walking paradox whose only talent is the ability to dilute and devolve his original, and superior Islamic discourse in conformity to the hegemonic ideas which shape his servile and oppressive environment. Almost instantaneously, he is able to Socialize Islam when Socialism is hegemonic, Arabize Islam when pan-Arabism is dominant, and Liberalize Islam when Liberal-Democracy permeates the fabric of politics. And in doing so, reaffirms his perpetual and perennial positional inferiority. Islam no longer serves as a basis for takfeer – excommunication – be it of individuals or societies but rather excommunication is passed on the basis of one’s commitment to Democracy. The extent to which an individual, movement, or society is democratic determines its legitimacy and the extent to which an individual, movement, or society is undemocratic (in the eyes of the [Western] beholder) it is stripped of its political, social, and economic rights and shunned from the public’s eye.

In the Arab-Muslim world, these mimics are not limited to the intellectual domain, but also the realm of ‘politics’. Within the colonial modes of governance, the ‘political’ is not an open and life-enhancing sphere for autonomous and free political actors but rather the ‘political’ is in itself subordinate to the concentric political and economic power matrices which encircle the ‘nation’. Mimics, who take upon positions of “leadership” compound this servility but inviting, and then legitimizing a parasitic trojan horse: Democracy. From its very inception, it slowly and corrosively erodes the ‘native’ and ‘local’ belief-system. When Democracy in the homogenizing West signified Social Democracy; the mimics in the Muslim world obediently followed suit and defined their “Islamic” Democracy as being built upon “social justice” and “equality” and naturally when Democracy became equated within Liberalism, sure enough our local mimics followed suit and “Islamic” Democracy meant “liberty”, “women’s rights” and “free-market economy”. Islam, although universal and absolute in its origins is rendered contingent and subordinated to the legitimized (albeit constantly in flux) criteria of the Eurocentric and relative [trojan horse] ‘Democracy’. Amusingly, the mimic becomes more dedicated to the qualifications of Democracy at the expense of his authenticity than the colonizer himself. For while the Colonizer is instragient and refuses to accommodate an Islamic episteme despite the shallowness of Western civilization, the mimic will relativize a divine Islamic episteme (revelation) in order to accommodate his Western-counterpart. Reminiscent to the house slave who rushes towards putting out the fire and saving the house under which he was enslaved while the owner and “master” runs for safety! The similitude of this dubious situation is as such; two persons were asked to transport a vessel of wine from point A to point B. One of whom is a Muslim, and the other a non-Muslim. While the non-Muslim will transport the vessel but only after missing the given deadline and having drank half the vessel, the Muslim will transport it on time and without having wasted any of the wine. To make matters worse, the Muslim will provide an Islamic justification for doing so! While the previous ruling party more than often missed Parliamentary sessions or hearings the Muslim is present. And while the previous Secular ruling party ruled a Democratic Republic “undemocratically” you can count on the fact that the Muslim will be as Democratic as it gets.

On an ideological-political level, the ‘Islamist’ goes even further. A debased idea like ‘Democrarcy’ is given a cosmic and divine-based justification. A Democrat’s dream.
(1) Democracy produces ‘decisions’ which exist independently of any external and objective truth.
(2) The legitimacy or illegitimacy of a ‘decision’ is circularly based on its being reached through ‘Democratic procedures’ and thus a fallacy of circular reasoning.
(3) And thus ‘Democracy’ cannot justify its ‘normativitiy’ on any objective grounds.

However “Islamists” who participate in the Democratic process do indeed give ‘Democracy’ an external normative justification.

Democracy is no longer a means, but rather an ends – emulation becomes a fixed trajectory as though Democracy is naturally predisposed in our human-ness. Ironically, the emulators lack of moral autonomy and independent ‘reason’ creates a substantial lack in his human-ness according to the qualifications and definition of ‘human’ for thinkers in the dehumanizing West. A tragic moment indeed, for he forfeits both his Islam-ness (authenticity) and human-ness in pursuit of regressive and minimal gains. What is all the more tragic is when his discourse of positional inferiority and unauthenticated is disseminated to his popular bass who are in turn de-mobilized and pacified. And in trying to legitimize Islam through its proclaimed association with Democracy; Islam is in fact delegitimized in that its vitality and relevancy to the “Modern” epoch is contingent on a, now legitimized, external system of knowledge; Western political theory. A chief characteristics of the mimic is his inability to distinguish between the proclaimed objectives of Democracy and its definition – a fallacy of equivocation. Whether or not Democracy actualizes its objectives is beyond his thinking-capacities.  A second characteristic is his inability to distinguish between what-is and what-ought-to-be meaning that his socio-political and economic reality.

In the end, the mimics insistence on preserving and essentializing his status-quo he paradoxically ends up both preserving the very power-structures which render the actualization of ‘Democracy’ impossible and continues to pursue it (Democracy) at the same time. In an age of free-market capitalist globalization and the anarchic state of the international order, the ‘Nation’ and its ‘People’ are neither sovereign nor free to determine their own trajectory and destiny as hegemonic forces external to the ‘Nation’ and its ‘People’ do so.  And thus even on a pragmatic level, the ideals and material-goals of the mimic remain a mirage.

How does ‘Democracy’ – in itself – alleviate the economic, social and political structural contradictions in the Muslim world? What is it intrinsic to ‘Democracy’ that makes it an all-encompassing and comprehensive political programme which can seemingly do away with the deep-rooted problems? History testifies to the fact that there is indeed no causal link between economic development, technological advancement and ‘Democracy’. Unless ‘Democracy’ is a masquerade for a far-reaching neo-liberal political programme, it falls nothing short of a mirage. Both ways however, ‘Democracy’ is part of the problem and not a solution of any sorts.

Towards a Third-Way

The paradox of such a dichotomy lays in the fact that both sides are, in reality, two sides of the same coin in the sense that both systems:  (1) create the mechanisms of subordination on the domestic level, and (2) reproduce our external colonial state of being; the politics of emancipation however dictates a “dichotomous chasm” which Laclau describes as “between the emancipatory moment and the social order which has preceded it” and a “radical discontinuity”. A transition from colonial modes (Arab dictators) of governance to neo-colonial modes (Liberal-Democracy) hardly qualifies as any sort of emancipation. An opportunistic West will, of course, try to mediate the transitions in the Muslim world following the Arab Spring as to prevent a radical discontinuity and maintain the continuity albeit with a few cosmetic changes through promoting “the only real alternative” to the dictatorships they previously supported. Perhaps many of the Western political analysts, as Elizabeth Shakman Hurd points out, cannot think outside their fixed materialistic worldview and its consequential deterministic view on progress and development; and perhaps Liberal elite are somewhat still clinging hope to Fukuyama’s “The End of History?” hence why they interpret the events in the Arab and Muslim world as being transitions to a Liberal-Democracy or as another wave of Democratization. Considering their secular (i.e a materialistic conceptualization of reality and power) intellectual background, one can make sense of their continued failure to understand politics in the Muslim world, but what one cannot understand is when those whose intellectual background is supposedly based on a divine and holistic worldview, parrot their views and promote the “only real alternative” as Rashid al-Ghanoushi of an-Nahda in Tunisia party continues to perplexingly do.

A liberating revolution must entail intellectual liberation—a decolonization of our consciousness and a deconstruction of the false dichotomies and colonial constructs super-imposed on the Ummah. A liberating revolution—not only against the Arab tawagheet, but also the world-system and Jahili order which they served—by using Tawhid as a liberating philosophy and revolutionary methodology through which we can decolonize the Muslim world, and as such, find a third-way which lays neither in Imperial Democracy nor Domestic Dictatorship. A more radical move would decenter the West as the loci of legitimacy and knowledge for a more divine trans-historical loci of knowledge—revelation.
Islamist movements today are at a crossroads; they can either reproduce and legitimize these false dichotomies and usher in an era of neo-colonization under the banner of “Democracy”, or they can use the demands of the revolting populations for freedom and social justice as an opportunity to show that the fulfillment of such demands lays essentially and foundationally in Tawhid and is manifested and institutionalized through its own distinct political system and modes of governance—the Khilafah.

Ali Harfouch