FREEDOMS WE ONCE HAD
- THE STREET MIMBAR Khutbah (29 June 2007)e-mail: khutbahs@... webpage: www.geocities.com/khutbahshttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/the_street_mimbar/Suggestions & Criticisms: PLEASE E-MAILIt is in such a manner that We make plain our signs so that the course of thecriminals may become clear.Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem.Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family.Brothers and Sister of Imaan, Allahs assurance and confidence in Allah....audio on http://www.islamiccenterdc.com/khutbassermons.htm (02-03-2007)FREEDOMS WE ONCE HADAllah orders us to maintain a solidarity among ourselves. He saysAnd hold onto that which Allah gives you and dont be divided (Surah Ahl Imran verse 103)This ayah in Surah Ahl Imran is a familiar ayah to the average Muslim, what seems not to be familiar to the average Muslim is the context on which this ayah was revealed. Before this ayah, Allah saysO people of scripture- why do you repel from the course of Allah (Surah Ahl Imran verse 99)In another ayah that precedes watasimu bi hablillahi jamian, Allah saysIf you obey a portion or segment of those who were vouchsafed scripture or given the holy book before you, they will cause you to renounce your Islam and become kaafirin (Surah Ahl Imran verse 100)There was among the Muslims and continues to be this question- are we divided because those who are non-Muslims are working on our division ie. they want us to be divided therefore we are divided or are we divided because we ourselves are responsible for this division, ie. it has nothing to do with outsiders and enemies, just look at ourselves, we are the ones who are causing this division? These two answers, its the outside enemy that is causing our division, (thats the 1st answer) and (the 2nd answer is) its our internal self that is causing this division- and its as if the answer has to be one of the two. Well, why cant it be both of them. When we look at Allahs guiding ayaat, we realize that when He is telling us to be united or solidified, when He is sayingO you who are secure in your commitment to Allah, guard against Allahs corrective measures as you should and dont expire except in a state of submission to Him. And hold onto that which Allah gives you and dont be divided, recall his bounty to you when you were avowed enemies and he reconciled you and made you a brotherhood (Surah Ahl Imran verse 102-103)When we are quoting Allah and this ayah in His book and if we just take the little effort that it takes to read the five or six ayaat before that, we can stand and realize that Allah wants us to concentrate on those who are outside the Islamic realm and who are working on our division.Say: O people of scripture- why do you repel from the course of Allah (Surah Ahl Imran verse 99)So as far as our unity of purpose and togetherness is concerned, Allah is opening up our eyes to the fact that there are external forces that want us repelled from the direction and course that Allah is outlining for us. Then, the ayah saysO you who are secure in you commitment to Allah- if you listen to, obey and are 2nd fiddle to those who were given scripture before you, they will cause you to lapse into a state in which you become kaafirin (Surah Ahl Imran verse 101)So, the answer is here- for those who always debate this issue to death, they just have to read these ayaat to understand that theres a synergistic relationship that wants us divided. This relationship comes from forces that are working outside of us along with forced that are working within our rank and files. If these two forces begin to co-ordinate among themselves and grow, and we, (ourselves), begin to look the other way and not listen to what Allah is saying, then division is unavoidable. That being said, we know that we have been on a course of self-reflection and self-criticism and we know that in todays atmosphere, there are many many individuals, people of influence, institutions that have a say in our social lives as well as militaries that have the use of brute force that are coming into focus to try to have you and me and the Committed Muslims who are just beginning to live their higher responsibilities separated and dispersed from each other. One of the arguments that they are trying to exploit for purposes of dividing the Muslim flock or fraternity is the argument of sectarianism. Now, it is rare that we read or encounter any news item pertaining to the Islamic condition and the vital areas pertaining to the vital areas within this Islamic condition such as Iraq or Lebanon or Iran or the birth place of Islam, Arabia, that doesnt have the deliberate word Sunni or Shii preceding a person, a policy maker, a government official, a population or a region. This comes within a well thought out strategy to try to abort our Islamic revival. One of the areas that they are working on is an area in which we ourselves are unable to reduce our differences of opinions, because we ourselves refuse to point out where and when we were strong and where and when we were weak in our own common history. They take this area of Islamic silence and avoidance of this matter, and they, themselves work on it. Well, why cant we work on it? Why dont we have the able, qualified and credit worthy Islamic scholars who can speak about these issues from the mind and the heart that are located in the book of Allah and the Messenger of Allah. Why is that such an impossible task? With all of these developments that are in the working around us, why dont we have Muslims who can stand on the Mimbar and enlighten all the Muslims, you and me, on these matters? One voice is not enough. This is going to take a concerted effort to realize that we can learn from ourselves. If we take, (and we have been taking) these sensitive pages in Islamic history, and looking at them with open minds and hearts that have no prejudice or hate in them- are we going to hate ourselves? What are we going to do, be prejudiced against our own selves? it doesnt work. Thats not known, neither in the character of Allahs Prophet, nor in the character of those who follow Allahs Prophet.Lets take one of these areas, lest they begin to try to spur our bad feeling towards each other- as an example- that neither the Muslims want to deal with and therefore those who are in military occupation, economic exploitation and in social preponderance among us are taking advantage of. We go back to the time of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu), which is when many of these issues began to unravel. When we speak about this, we are not speaking about something that is in a sense sacred. These are our brothers and sisters in Islam who either shouldered some responsibility or were excluded from some responsibility and either they were successful in that regard or they were less than successful in that regard. That doesnt put that whole period of history beyond the book of Allah and His Messengers instructions. To the contrary, it puts them under the scrutiny of the Book of Allah and the Prophet. Therefore, in the time of Uthman, there are two individuals that we think merit our attention. When we cover this area, we cover it without bad feelings and ill intentions. We are trying to look at it so that we ourselves can develop a healthy attitude that will exclude the trouble makers from the plans that they have inshore for us. One of the chapters in the time of Uthman pertains to two individuals. One of them is Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah and the other one is Muhammed ibn Abi Bakr. We know that when we use some of these names, there are people who are going to have some (maybe), mental allergic reactions. This has nothing to do with the facts as much as it has to do with traditions and the elevation of traditions to the area or religion and sacredness. So, let us walk carefully in this area. Let us 1st take a look at who these two individuals were and what their impact has been on our history that has left its traces all the way up to even here.Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah is the son of a very well known character or sahabi (radi Allahu anhu) around the Prophet. His father was the brother of Muawiyahs mother. So what does that mean? Some people say Oh Muawiyahs mother and then they begin to get these big issues in their head. In a family, you can have good people and you can have bad people. Goodness is not genetic and evil is not genetic- lets overcome this. Muhammed ibn Hudhayfahs father had an honorary history with Allahs Prophet. He became a Muslim before the Prophet went to Dar Al-Arqam, which is in the very 1st months of Islam. So, he was a very early Muslim. He also went with those Muslims who left Makkah to Al-Habasha, along with his wife (radi Allahu anha). He stayed in Al-Habasha where his son, Muhammed (the person we are going to be speaking about) was born. So, what does that mean? This is another sensitive area. Some individuals say this is a Muslim who was born in Africa. So what? It doesnt matter where he was born, but we have these sensitive areas. The family returned from Al-Habasha to Makkah and then they were the 1st to be in the hijrah from Makkah to Al-Medinah. The father of Muhammed (who well be speaking about shortly), witnessed the battle of Uhud. In that battle, he tried to take on his own father because his father was on the side of the kaafirs and if there was anyone who was going to be responsible for killing his father, he wanted to be responsible for that. He was in attendance of all the military campaigns in all the battles that the Prophet attended and he became a shaheed during the time of Abi Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) in what is called the campaign of Yamamah. OK- so this is a very honorable sahabi of the Prophet. Can anyone deny this? Thats one issue; the other issue is his son Muhammed. When his father became a shaheed at Yamamah, Uthman was the guardian of Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah and it turns out that the son was not of the same quality or standard as the father. He was about 14 or 15 years old when his father was killed at Yamamah and that was when Uthman became his guardian. This son saw that Uthman was giving out governmental positions to certain people who were in a certain circle of people and he thought or he was expecting that he also was going to gain one of these governmental positions. In some of the books of history, because were trying to cover different areas and different versions, it is said that Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah was found guilty of consuming al-khamra, in other words, now he had to be subjected to the Islamic law or the hadd of al-khamr. Remember, this is a person who is close to him and who he was responsible for financially and emotionally, but when he did something wrong, what is Uthman going to say? I cant apply the hadd to this person?! He applied the legal penalty as it would have been applied to any other Muslim in the state. Whatever the case is, whether it was the application of the hadd or whether it was the frustration that Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah was not given a power position in the Islamic state, in other words, he wasnt appointed as a governor or an administrator in one of the Islamic regions, so he went Uthman and said I need a little help, could you give me some resources, I want to leave Al-Medinah? OK- here are some financial resources, you can leave Al-Medinah- youre free to go wherever you want to go. Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah went to Egypt. Within the same frame of time, Muhammed ibn Abi Bakr who is well known- his father is Abu Bakr, his sister is Aaisha (radi Allahu anha)- who are known in their relationship with Allahs Prophet. He also may have been expecting some position in the Islamic government of the time. Of course, its impossible to give everyone a position in the government- you cant have everyone chief and no commoners, but some people had high expectations. When he also realized that hes being excluded from the power structure of Al-Medinah (were saying these words- is anyone generating any bad feelings?!) We dont understand how some people cover this history and then begin to feel like they are tense or angry and want to take it out on someone- angry on what?! And take it out on who?! These were people who were making mistakes and they were sometimes doing it right- how come this generates some type of distance between me and you or this Muslim and the other Muslim because of looking at this time period in history- you tell us? When these two individuals- we know the type of families that they came from and how they were close to the Prophet of Allah, but they found themselves excluded here, so they went to Egypt. Who was ruling Egypt at that time? Remember, we covered this area earlier- it was Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Surh. This happens to be Uthmans brother through the breast-feeding process, akhuhu bi ridha. This was the highest authority in Egypt. When these two individuals found themselves in Egypt, they began to complain about the Islamic administration in Al-Medinah and specifically about Uthman. Remember who these individuals are and how close their families were with the Prophet of Allah, himself. At that time, the governor of Egypt, Uthmans brother through lactation was preparing for the 1st military sea campaign in the Mediterranean against the Byzantines and what he did was he told these two Muhammeds if you want to come on this campaign, he knew what they were doing as far as public campaign was concerned, 1st of all, realize that no one telling them shut-up, you cant speak. There was freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. But, that doesnt mean that the rulers were not keeping an eye on them, so the rulers told them if you want to come, because it seemed like they wanted to volunteer and go on this military mission, so they said OK. One narrative of history says that they were placed in a vessel that had no Muslims in it. All the rest of the vessels had Muslims in them, but they were placed with Coptic Christians from Egypt. This also is a sensitive area to some people. We dont know why, but it becomes something like a rallying point that these two dissident figures in Islamic history were put with non-Muslims on a military mission. According to other books of history, it was only Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah who went on this military mission, and in joining the military, he was trying to turn public opinion in the military against Uthman. In the meantime, Muhammed ibn Abi Bakr was involved among the Muslim people themselves, in Egypt, to turn them against Uthman, the Muslim ruler in Al-Medinah. We realize in all of this that there was no police state like we have today. Today, they want to listen to what youre saying in your home, they want to eavesdrop on what youre saying in your bedroom. We didnt have any eavesdropping and we didnt have any spying. We had individuals who were making mistakes, but these mistakes were not institutionalized and systemic compared to what we have today, in our time. Were talking about these two opposition figures- Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah and Muhammed ibn Abi Bakr- and they were gaining popularity. If you read these books of history, you will find that public opinion in Egypt was turning against the Islamic state in Al-Medinah. Even at the end of the salaah- when the imam would finish by saying Assalaamualaykum wa Rahmatullah, Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah would stand up and say Allahu Akbar. By saying that, what he wanted to do was he wanted to draw attention to himself and then he also wanted to devalue the imam that was leading as-salaah. So, this popular opposition movement that began to stir in Egypt- of course, the news was relayed to Al-Medinah, the capital of the Islamic state and Uthman heard what is going on there and his brother through ar-rida, Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Surah, who we spoke about previously. One of the statements that was said by these two Muhammeds to the Egyptians was look at your authority and your leader in jihad. This is the one that the Quran itself speaks about his kufr and the Prophet made his blood halal. Remember this part of history that we covered earlier. Jihad should not be with him, the jihad should be against the one who is in Al-Medinah, meaning Uthman. Now, this is part of our history. What are you going to do? Are you going to look at this history and feel bad against another Muslim? Whichever way you process this information, if you process this information to generate hatred against Muslims, youre not processing this information right. This is just like any other information you have today. Lets say rulers in our time are making mistakes, is that going to generate hatred in you? It should generate a public consciousness. At that time, there was enough freedom- they speak about freedoms today- we have a deleted word for that- at that time there was enough freedom that a public consciousness began in Egypt by Muslims, just like you and me, who wanted to correct the mistakes that were going on in Al-Medinah. When Uthman heard about this, and he consulted with his brother through lactation in Egypt, his brother in Egypt told him let me take then on and finish them off. This was more or less the communication between the two. Uthman said no, dont do that. So what did Uthman do? He tried to be forthcoming with them. He sent Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah money and clothes. He thought that would placate him and take away his thrust of opposition to Uthman. What did Muhammed ibn Abi Hudhayfah do? He took this money and the clothes, the ward-robe (in todays language) that he received from Uthman to the Masjid. This is how central and vital the Masjid was, even though today, no one will be able to do the equivalent of what was done. Today, they say that theres all these freedoms and we cant do something thats just a shade of what was done at that time. He took it to the Masjid and he said to all the people in the Masjid look at what Uthman has sent me. He is trying to buy me and divert me from what I am doing. In other words, these are his words, hes trying to bribe me. You tell us, if we wanted to compare the freedom of conscience that the Muslims had at that time with the so-called freedoms that we have today, is there any comparison? So, when we look at these details with the mind and the heart that come from Allah and His Prophet, whatever interpretation you have of this, we didnt try to be judgmental as you have heard, were just trying to relay to you as objectively and without any prejudice the bare facts of history that we have and that no one is willing to look at, especially at times like this when they are trying to use precisely those details of history to have a Sunni and Shii hate themselves. How do you hate yourself? You look at this, how does anyone make any hatred out of this? Theres enough to learn from this, can we not learn? That is what is required. When Allah saysO you who are secure in your commitment to Allah, guard against Allahs corrective measures as you should and dont expire except in a state of submission to Him. And hold onto that which Allah gives you and dont be divided, recall his bounty to you when you were avowed enemies and he reconciled you and made you a brotherhood, you were on the verge of the fire and Allah saved you there from (Surah Ahl Imran verse 102-103)When we read this ayah and we want altogether, to hold on to what has come to us from Allah, how are we going to do this together? How are we going to hold on to this common ground that we have that has come to us from Allah when we look at each other and we dislike each other? Its not going to work that way. Let us expel this negative psychology that is trying to take hold all around the Muslim world. Let us expel it at its roots by reconsidering and relearning from our own-selves.Brothers and sisters of imaanIn another ayah, and we quote this ayah because of the peculiar condition that has been with our brothers and sisters for 24 years. This week, the powers that be, the ones who have taken away all these freedoms that we speak about, confiscated and nationalized a Masjid, this Islamic Center here. The ayah saysIn houses or abodes which Allah has permitted to be constructed and which Allah has permitted His dhikr, a consciousness pertaining to His name there-in, Praising Allah there-in, morning and evening, are men who are not distracted by commercialism and transactions from the consciousness of Allah (Surah An-Nur verse 36-37)The descriptive meanings in this ayah are a far cry from the status quo of this Masjid and its copycat Masajid all around- the meanings of these ayaat do not come to light. We may not have the time to elaborate on the details of what has happened here, but it is a sore eye and a sore thumb for those who have perpetrated this injustice for the past 24 years. We have seen Muslims who speak about Islamic participation, elections, equality and the brotherhood of Muslims. Where is all of this we ask? There not enough honor and integrity in the Muslims around to see to it that this division of Muslims- you see, some of our brothers around think that you can only oppose the Saudis or the flunkies of imperialism or Zionism by belonging to a certain school of thought. Thats not true. The Saudi Arabian government would tip its hat to those of you from that school of thought that would not challenge its evil role in everything that it is doing. You only have to look here- for 24 years, do they discriminate between who belongs to whatever school of thought as long as youre trying to express the truth about the matter- No. They treat you with equal discrimination, force and prejudice- thats how they behave. What do you do? What do we do? What does any Muslim do? Its easy- we can wrap up and say that nothing is happening; go home and relinquish our responsibilities. But this is not within the character of Muslims who live and will surrender by their Islam. They cant get away with this. They will not be able to get away with it in this world and they will not be able to get away with it in the pending world. The ayah didnt say adhina Amrika an turfa or adhina Saudiya an turfa or adhina Fulaan wa Fulaan an turfa, it says adhina Allahu an turfa.
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