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  • Disest opp
    May 23, 2014
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      JUM’AH KHUTBAH (23 May 2014)
      PLEASE e-mail Suggestions & Criticisms to khutbahs@...
      It is in such a manner that We make plain Our signs so that the course of the
      Criminals may become clear.
      Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem.
      Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family.
      Dear committed Muslims…
      Allah says in an ayah that should be a central ayah in today’s Muslims mind
      … so that the course of the criminals becomes very obvious. (Surah Al An’aam verse 55)
      The problem with today’s average Muslim, (and these are the majority of Muslims), is that the course of the criminals is not clear. It’s supposed to be clear as per this ayah but it is not. We shall try to shed some light on the meaning of this ayah. This is something we have to do so that the criminals are exposed. In the previous khutbahs we tried our best to provide some illustrations of how the contemporary rulers in Arabia fit the bill of al mujrimin. We are not trying to blow things out of proportion, we are not trying to get involved in hyperbole; what we are trying to do is to look at the facts of history and look at the facts of our current affairs and the facts will speak for themselves. We said and we repeat that a few khutbahs are not going to be enough to clarify the discrepancy and the distance between the committed Muslims who ruled in Arabia immediately after the Prophet passed away and the current Arabians who rule in that same area today who claim that they are the extension of that time period. In other words today’s kings in Arabia want us to be convinced that they are the natural extension of the Khulafa’ who came after Allah’s Prophet. We want to present the facts of the matter and then we want the thinking Muslim mind and the pulsating Muslim heart to draw their own conclusions from there.
      In today’s Arabia we have people, i.e. rulers, who claim the lands and the territories of that virtual peninsula to be their own. They call the Arabian Peninsula or the majority of it Saudi Arabia . This is how far they have gone in claiming that land. There’s not a land in the world that is claimed by a family in the world except the one that dwells in Arabia . Furthermore, the natural resources that are there, viz. the petroleum is also claimed by them. There’s almost one billion dollars every day that comes from beneath the surface of Arabia and then it goes to the coffers of these rulers. Compare this with the time of Umar (radi Allahu anhu). We are emphasizing the time of Umar and his rule simply because the current rulers in Arabia claim him as their foremost khalifah. In his time there was a person by the name of Bilal ibn Al Harith. This person was given by Allah’s Prophet himself a very vast stretch of land in the measurements of those days (i.e.) an expanded piece of land that can be used for agriculture. He asked it from the Prophet and the Prophet said take it with its responsibilities and this person had that piece of land. When Umar became the ruler of the Muslims he asked the person are you taking care of that land? The land has to be managed. It needs labour. Land needs labour. Labour and land go together. This is the Islamic judgement on what is to be done with land. If the owner of, remember, agricultural land is not responsible in a labour sense towards the land he forfeits the ownership and this is what Umar did to this particular person. He asked him are you responsible in a labour sense for this land (or) are you are you tilling it? Are you planting whatever has to be planted? Are you doing whatever farmers and peasants do with lands? He said no. Well the land is no longer yours- that simple. It doesn’t take a philosophy here to figure out responsibilities. How does that compare with today’s rulers who have claim a Peninsula- not a certain acreage of agricultural land as was the case here? They right now say “they own the Peninsula ” and where’s their labour? Does anyone detect that they are responsible in a labour way towards the land? Obviously not! They don’t know what labour means. They spend most of their times in capitals around the world and other places of vice around the world. If Umar was around he’d take this kingdom away from them. During the era of Umar ibn Al Khattab when the Islamic state began to expand there were new agricultural lands because it expanded into fertile valley’s that were irrigated by major rivers in Africa and in Asia . So what did Umar do? He said this belongs to the community of Muslims. He wasn’t there claiming it for his family. You rulers in Arabia say “ Arabia is a family affair.” Can you see (and) can you notice that that was never the case during the time period you yourself refer to?! You refer to the time period of Umar, (we have to say this), in today’s world for sectarian purposes. Your concern is to feed a polarisation and a division among Muslims but we are placing you in the context of the facts and the facts say that there is a galaxy of a distance between you and Umar who you are identifying with. Remember we are saying this so as to expose in daylight the behaviour and the character of criminals as per the ayah
      … so that the course of criminals becomes obvious. (Surah Al An’aam verse 55)
      The Prophet of Allah says Muslims share three things- water, the literal word here which has to be understood in context an naar which means fire and al kala’a which means the earths produce the plantations of the planet. So Muslims are to share in that. This is a hadith of the Allah’s Prophet and we’ll see how Umar understood this hadith when he was responsible for ruling but can you observe any type of sharing that goes on in today’s Muslim world? When it comes to water there are Muslims who have plenty of water and there are Muslims who have a scarcity of water- that’s not sharing. (Its) the same thing when it comes to heating. There are some places (where) Muslims have access to heating and energy- this is the meaning of an naar in context. Let’s say the Prophet came up with a word electricity in his time- who’s going to understand what electricity is? No one would understand it. Let’s say there’s a form of energy that is going to come into existence a thousand years from today, (you can call it- let’s give it a name; let’s jump into time and create a name for a form of energy a thousand years from today), and call it electromagnetic ether and let’s say the Prophet used that word. Who’s going to understand that? If he used that to describe and to define that form of energy our time can come and we can use another word and avoid the word the Prophet used so the whole meaning is not going to be understood but when he says people share three things- water, fire and the earths produce these are the sources out of which we have extensions and we have derivatives. Any form of water whether it’s water for nourishment and nutrition or its water for generating energy or its water for other purposes. If there is an Islamic policy everyone shares in it. The same is applied to fire- whether its for heating, whether its for cooking, whether its for industry, whether its for power or energy or any other purpose we share in it. The plants of the earth that don’t belong to a particular person who is in possession of a piece of land; everything else that is out there that grows in the wild belongs to people. It doesn’t belong to an individual, it doesn’t belong to a family, it doesn’t belong to a ruling class, it doesn’t belong to a power class or a wealth class or a race class or any other class. It belongs to everyone. There’s another hadith that has another variation of the same meaning. The other hadith says there are three that no one can possess (or) you can’t own three things and the words are the same water, fire and the earths produce. This is a more dangerous hadith. You can’t own them. Compare the hadith- and the rulers in Arabia quote the hadith more than they quote the ayaat; let them quote these ahadith! Let them vocalise these ahadith in public and explain their meaning to the public! No- they will steer clear of these ahadith because they don’t want to expose their ownselves. Well- we can understand criminals want to hide their crimes but how about us? We are not involved in that criminal syndicate, we are not part of that criminal ruling family so we can’t say the truth?! We can’t quote the ayaat and the ahadith that shed light on such figures and their policies and their strategies? We can’t do that?!
      In the time of Umar he had a policy that said pasture lands of the state are opened for the poor, meaning poor people have access to fertile lands. Does anyone see any of that? Can anyone identify any stripe of this policy in the Arabian Peninsula ? During the reign of Umar these fertile pasture areas were off limits to the wealthy individuals in the Islamic society such as Uthman ibn Affan and Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radi Allahu anhuma) and others. Now you tell us, do the rulers in Arabia have any case when they say “oh, we identify with Umar”?
      Then we come to a particular segment in Islamic history- that today’s sectarian mindset wants to ignore because it helps diffuse the issue of dividing the Muslims which is meant by today’s power structures- that is called the Muslims of the fath or post-fath Muslims, (i.e.) individuals who became Muslims after the liberation of Makkah. Some of them were mu’allafah qulubuhum (i.e.) you had to wing over their hearts by giving them some of the money from the Islamic treasury. Some of them called at tulaqa’. So bear these in mind. These are designations and descriptions that are taken out of circulation and by removing this characterisation of the facts of our history and by taking that put of the public mind what happens is we fall prey to today’s Sunni versus Shi’i world and vice versa. Umar was aware that there is a type of people who jumped, (so to speak), onto the Islamic band wagon. Islam became the order of the day (and) Islam was in an ascending order (and) Islam became the power to be reckoned with in the Arabian Peninsula so those who were fighting the Prophet and the committed Muslims for the last twenty odd years all of a sudden had to submit to the fact that Islam now is the pre-dominant force in Arabia. So they became Muslims and they knew who they were and the committed Muslims knew who they were. We, the Muslims of fourteen hundred years later scantily know who they are. So Umar looked at this category of people and he said the following to this category of people who because of the changing circumstances and the rise of an Islamic power and the establishment of an Islamic society and order acquiesced to that-not because they were convinced but because right now it’s the only thing to do to keep on prospering-, (we’re going to read this because this is his words and then we’re going to give you the quick translation), I have information pertaining to you that now you are beginning to have, (what we call in today’s world), in-gatherings among yourselves. So and so has so and so around him meaning this category of people, once again, and you are the ones who are beginning to exclude yourselves from the general Muslim public. He tells them no, don’t go that way infuse yourself with the Muslim public. In simple words, melt into the Muslim people, don’t stand out! You’re not excluded from the rest. You’re not something special. This is what he’s saying to them. We can’t break and remind you that these facts are brought to your attention so that you can compare what was done then with what is being done today. That’s all! Do you see these rulers in Arabia that fit the Umari bill? Are they not excluded from the rest of the people? They have a feather in their head and a chip on their shoulder contrary to what Umar was telling the same types of people during his lifetime.
      There’s a sentence from Umar who said (something like) concerning these types of characters and figures I am fed up with them and they are fed up of me (or) I have had it with them and they have had it with me. It’s almost the same thing (for) a Muslim who is living today’s world (and) the facts of what’s happening. Why do we have very rich people and very poor people and all of us are supposed to be brothers? How can this happen? How can a brother agree to have another brother and the distance between them is the distance between a billionaire and a pauper? How can this happen? Something is wrong! So Umar said concerning this I’ve had it with them and they’ve had it with me. I’m fed up with them and they are fed up with me and then in the end he says in his soliloquy he’s saying to Allah O Allah, take me meaning I don’t want to live among these people anymore. These are the same types of people who are ruling Arabia today.
      There’s a person (and) he’s name is Abdullah ibn Abi Rabi’ah Al Makhzumi. This person was an affluent person during the time of Umar. He wanted to bring his horses and his camels into Al Madinah and he expected the Islamic authorities in Al Madinah to feed his horses and his camels. This was during Umar’s time. He said no. if you want to bring them to Al Madinah you bring also their feed with them. We’re not going to feed them. This is your responsibility. So this person was forced to bring the feed from Al Yemen to Al Madinah and the person behind this policy was to see to it that rich individuals do not run roughshod over poor individuals. This was an Umari policy. Do you see the application of this policy in today’s Arabia ? Umar said- these are his words concerning this Ibn Abi Rabi’ah- I will not permit him to have his horses and his camels unless he brings his feed from outside of Al Madinah. Today’s rulers inside of Al Madinah and outside Al Madinah do whatever they want to do. No one’s looking at the interest of poor people.
      During the time of Umar a person by the name of Hind bint Utbah took out a loan from the Islamic treasury. Listen to this brothers and sisters, especially those who read history in a sectarian way. Abu Sufyan got word that Hind obtained a loan from the Islamic finances so he goes up to her and he encourages her to be very slow in repaying her loan, in other words to default in paying back her loan. Umar was apprised of Abu Sufyan’s behaviour. Umar got information that Abu Sufyan is telling this woman to extend paying back her debt indefinitely so what does Umar do to Abu Sufyan? This is going to strike some of the sectarians that think that there’s some type of conspiracy among these people. He put Abu Sufyan under house arrest and he told him you’re not going to be free until she pay’s back her debt. (Is there) any Arabian ruler that we have in today’s world willing to be as fair to the issue and as conscientious to the wealth of the Muslims as Umar was? Obviously not!
      During Umar’s time we had the type of people that we spoke about, (i.e.) Muslimatu al fath, al mu’allafah qulubuhum and at tulaqa’. They had ambitions. This was a growing Islamic reality (and) it was extending into many countries around it. Wealth and money and resources and assets were pouring into the Islamic state in Al Madinah. Some people from the Muhajirin and the Ansar- these are the cream of the crop- wanted to flow with this movement of resources and wealth, in other words they wanted to become rich and Umar saw (or) figured out what they wanted to do so he quarantined them in Al Madinah; in other words he made it unlawful for them to leave Al Madinah unless they had some valid reason but to go to these areas because they wanted to acquire wealth, they wanted to become powerful, they wanted to become wealthy and all of this- no! Some of them wanted to sneak out of Al Madinah saying we want to join the armies of the Muslims (or) we want to go into these ghazawat. Umar told them you have enough compensation for your ghazawat with the Prophet and he blocked this road of them wanting to sneak out of Al Madinah. He put them under city arrest because they wanted to acquire disproportionate wealth. Today disproportionate wealth is exactly the problem in the Arabian Peninsula . If Umar was around he’s put these rulers, these princes, these monarchs and that family in a quarantine if nothing else. We think he’d do things much more serious than that. This was a person who was impulsive in his belief of the truth but would you know it if you were listening to the media and the information that circulates around today? Would you think that is the case? These people say “they are the champions of Umar” and if Umar was around he’d be condemning them and then other Muslims who are listening to them believe it and say “yeah, these are the extension of Umar, these are the extension of Abi Bakr and these are the extension of Al Khulafa’ Ar Rashidin.” No they’re not! They’re the extension of Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl and the rest of the enemies of Allah’s Prophet. If there’s any extension there, that’s the extension!
      So the Prophet of Allah passes on with the dynamic that we are trying to reconstruct in your mind. Sunnis and Shi’is don’t have a healthy approach to analysing the facts of that time and they get caught into this rivalry that produces sectarian types that we all are familiar with- some of them have satellite TVs, they have budgets in the hundreds and millions if not in the tens of millions of dollars, you have sectarian Sunnis supporting sectarian Shi’is (and) you have sectarian Shi’is supporting sectarian Sunnis- this is a fact of today’s world and this is attributed to one thing (viz.) they could not reconstruct the world fourteen hundred years ago so that we become objective and we become impartial to these facts. When the Prophet passed away there was only one person from Bani Hashim who was qualified to deal with this issue and that person was Imam Ali (alayhi as salam). He was the only one qualified to deal with this psychology, the social tendencies that were there, the jahiliyah that was beneath the surface (or) just slightly underground but the problem here was Ali belonged to Bani Hashim and in the pre-Islamic mind and pre-Islamic power structure Bani Hashim were not an elite. As is the case in today’s world, if you’re not from the elite you don’t qualify to lead- a fact that was expressed by Bani Isra’eel.
      … They replied: “but how can he have al mulk over us? How can he be a sovereign over us when we deserve it more than he does and he doesn’t have all of that extra money (and) he doesn’t have all of that wealth that we anticipate?”  (Surah Al Baqarah verse 247)
      An objection by Bani Isra’eel to Talut becoming the leader can be applied to the objection to Ali becoming the leader of the committed Muslims and the Muslims because they saw that they were more affluent and more prosperous, they had more wealth and with that of course goes “they have more experience, they have more knowledge, they have more connections, they have more diplomacy” and more of everything that qualifies them to lead; “but a person like Ali from Bani Hashim?! You got to be kidding me!” That’s the way that mentality works. Unfortunately we don’t have much time to explain this critical lack of information in the Muslim public mind but the issue is (that) the Arabian Peninsula before the Prophet and before Islam and before the Qur’an was divided into power centres that were defined by tribes (and) by family lineage- that’s how it was. That’s a fact! The problem is- it’s a human nature problem (that) has nothing to do with individuals in Arabia at that time per se, it’s a problem everywhere- if you take power from people who had power previously- that’s what happened; Allah’s Prophet managed to arrest the power that was in the other power centres in Arabia and now the power was in Al Madinah and the Prophet was the leader. Some people honestly accepted and moved forward with that fact and others did not and the issue is going to arise when the most qualified person- which is Ali- assumes responsibility. He is from Bani Hashim and the Prophet is from Bani Hashim not to speak about Ali’s sons who were also most qualified vis a vis those who were trying to take away the authority from them. The problem with this in real human life is “wait a minute here- this person took power from us and now power, once again, is a tribal power in his own family.” This is a real human problem so Umar, and not only Umar but Ali himself, did not want this impression to become a social notion. So to avert this from happening the decision was made that those who are going to become the Muslims are not going to be from Bani Hashim at least for the time being and the hope was there that with the consolidation of goodwill time will heal this rift in the minds of the majority of the people of Arabia at that time. It didn’t work out that way. When Uthman came to power all of a sudden we had the virtues that we were speaking about during the time of Umar turned into the vices during the reign of Uthman. Oh- you people (who) were under city arrest in Al Madinah can go and they went to the fertile lands and theywent to the rich lands and they obtained wealth. Now a new problem began to develop and to solve this new problem under the pressure of society people began going to Ali. We want you to speak to Uthman. We want you to help him solve these issues. We want you to do this and we want you to do that and the fact of the matter is that during those twelve years when Uthman was ruling these principles and these values that were under close conscientious management of Abu Bakr and Umar (radi Allahu anhu) got out of hand during the time of Uthman and we had the unfolding that we tried to explain out of the sectarian context that it is being placed in today. There are quotes here (but) unfortunately I don’t have any time now for these quotes (but) suffice it to say that we want you to understand this point- Umar did not want Islamic rule to become a family affair and that is in the spirit of the Qur’an and the Prophet. Islam is not a family affair. Islam is the responsibility for those who qualify but those who qualify should not become the victims of a resurgent jahiliyah. So Umar forbid authority becoming the issue belonging to a family or a tribe. What do we have today in Arabia ? We have those who are ruling, who are ruling as a family; in other words they are telling Umar “we disagree with you. Here we are a family that's ruling.” They do this at the same time they are trying to get away with claiming that Umar is theirs and because these types of Islamic centres all around the word don't approach the facts and explain the issues we have this issue of sectarianism now claiming innocent lives all over the Muslim world.
      … so that the course of action of criminals becomes crystal clear. (Surah Al An’aam verse 55)
      We want these criminals to be exposed in light of Allah and His Prophet's words and instructions. You are going to make people who are sightless equivalent to people who have insight. You are going to make the rulers of Arabia today equivalent to the rulers of Arabia then?
      Dear committed Muslims…
      This humble brother of yours in the past couple of weeks has been thousands of miles away trying to bring some Muslims to their senses that we are all one Muslim community or society in the world, at least, in as far as our emotions our hopes and our expectations. Politically that’s not the case. We’re divided into fifty or sixty different divisive political entities. When it comes to religious conviction they want us to believe that we are enemies of each other. Representatives of these same rulers today who are fuelling sectarianism in 2004 met in Amman with prominent Islamic scholars, Ulema’ and they all agreed among themselves (under) no outside pressure nothing that all the Muslims are to recognise each other from whichever Islamic persuasion they belong to. They recognised eight Islamic legitimate persuasions, (viz.) the four that are Sunni- Hanafi, Ash Shafi’i, Al Maliki and Al Hanbali; the two who are Shi’i- the Ja’fari and the Zaydi and then the Ibadha and then the Dhahiris. All of them were recognised and then they signed on to it. Now because of some political expediency certain rulers want Muslims to fight because they want them to think “you are  either Sunni and therefore an enemy of the Shi’is or you are a Shi’i and therefore an enemy of the Sunnis.” What happened? Ten years ago they signed a piece of paper and there are hundreds of scholars who signed on to it from all the Islamic schools of thought so what happened today? What do you want us to do? Are you lying then or are you lying today? Are we to believe you ten years ago or are we to believe you today? We don’t want to believe you at anytime! But we want to expose what you are doing and refer this whole affair to Allah. Now the Saudi government that is behind much of this is saying “look, we’re willing to meet with representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran .” They had a meeting in London , England yesterday (with) The Friends of Syria. What do they want to do? They want to tell us “the elections in Syria that is going to take place in a couple of weeks are going to be a farce and a fraud.” How about the elections in Egypt ? Are those going to be legitimate elections? They don’t want to speak about that! Why? Because the elections in Egypt doesn’t fit the sectarian division that they have been working on all these years. (What about) the other elections everywhere? Why are they right now so interested in the elections of Syria ? There’re elections taking place in Iraq , there’re elections taking place in Egypt , elections taking place in Afghanistan , elections taking all over. Why are they only interested in Syria ? That’s the only fraud and fraudulent elections that you can detect and all the rest are hunky-dory?! But it does to show you, if only we understood the valuable information that comes to us from Allah and His Prophet.
      This khutbah was presented by Imam Muhammad Asi on the occasion of Jum’ah on 16 May 2014 on the sidewalk of Embassy Row in Washington D.C. The Imam previously led the daily and Jum’ah prayers inside the Masjid. His speeches were revolutionary and thought provoking, and eventually irritated and threatened the Middle-East Ambassadors who control the Masjid. Finally, the Imam, his family, and other Muslims faithful to the course of Islam were forced out, into the streets. This khutbah originates from the sidewalk across the street from the Islamic Center, currently under seige.