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48021KHUTBAH : ALI AND UTHMAN- NO SECTARIANISM

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    Jun 5, 2014
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      THE STREET MMBAR
      JUM’AH KHUTBAH (6 June 2014)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/the_street_mimbar/
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      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 brothers and dear committed sisters…
       
      ALI AND UTHMAN- NO SECTARIANISM
      We have been in a conscious way trying to dust off the ignorance that has accumulated in our history, in our psychology, in our societies (and) in our cultures for a very long time and it’s not easy when you take on these forces and these types of mentalities. Suffice it for us that we are in the presence of Allah and when you’re in the presence of Allah the issue of easy and hard cannot erode your relationship with Him, The Almighty. If it wasn’t for this relationship with Allah we as human beings would begin to feel, sooner or later, a type of frustration and a loss of determination. This is nothing new. The Prophets themselves felt that too after many years and after many decades, in some cases, when they interacted with their own peoples and their own societies. The ayah in Surah Yusuf demonstrates this meaning. 
      … there comes a time when even the Messengers of Allah feel that they are frustrated and in despair and they entertained the idea that society and the power structure around them has managed to put them in a position and in an image of being liars… (Surah Yusuf verse 110)
      So it’s nothing new. When we come to our internal selves because much has to be done with our own folks, with our own relatives, with our friends, with our colleagues; all the circles that we are in are overwhelmed with this misunderstanding of each other and anyone who is working for Allah and with Allah cannot feel that they have to put down their years and walk away from their struggle. You can’t do that! It never happened with Prophets and Messengers. So here we’re going to go with our God-given determination and our proximity to Allah and we’re going to walk through one of these areas that some Muslims speak about with an ego and other Muslims don’t want to speak about because they’ve conditioned themselves not to use their minds. So in one area we have selfishness with this issue, (and we’ll breach this issue in a moment), and on the other hand we have an ignorant attitude. Where are we going with this? These are issues no one wants to speak about. Someone has to speak about them with balance and without this reactionary give and take.
       
      One of the major differences in the Muslim public mind with all the traditions in it and with all the cultural slants to it and with all the misinformation about it goes back to the time of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu). We know that during his reign which was quite an extended reign (of) over twelve years to be precise the first divergence amongst the Muslims occurred and what we mean here is the first social split in Islamic society occurred and it reached a point when there was an encounter between Imam Ali and Uthman (radi Allahu anhuma). What you’re going to hear is presented to you by other Muslims either in a detached way or in a way that borders on the holier than thou psychology. Ali says to Uthman, (and we’re sure you can fill in the information that brought them to this moment and this exchange of words and ideas), and this has two shades of meanings, one of them is- people are behind me and the other one as is expressed in today’s language is people are on my case. They came to me asking about the affair between them and you. Be conscious of the fact or be informed that the best of Allah’s ibad is a just leader who is concerned with, centred on or made out of the affair of justice and the worst people in the sight of Allah is a despotic Imam who is not concerned with the issue of justice therefore tyranny sets into society. I, (in a sense), am invoking your consciousness of Allah not to become the killed or the assassinated leader of this ummah. Ali is not shouting at him, he’s not offending him, he’s not using bad words, he’s not trying to display himself in a superior position, etc. etc. He’s saying to him the word Imam. He didn’t have a problem saying “Imam is only for special individuals in society or historically.” He’s talking to him as the word is used in the Qur’an. Ali is a product of the Prophet and the Qur’an so when he uses these words he uses them just as they are used by the Prophet and in the Qur’an. I beseech you, by Allah, not to become the assassinated leader of this ummah. Which means what? This means that the resentment and the revulsion and the opposition against Uthman were boiling over. The consequences only Allah knows- one of them is he could be the target of assassination. Remember we’re speaking about leaders who didn’t have any guards. They just people like you and me. They come to as salah just like we are here. They go to the Masjid and there’s no security around them and all of this stuff that we have in today’s world. Should this happen and you are assassinated that is going to open the doors of infighting and combat (or) this is going to be the first time the Muslims are going to turn against themselves in a bloody way. It will also be a source of sedition in the Ummah. These are words of a person who you can say grew up in the household of the Prophet and he speaks truth to leaders, to power, to people, to the public, to whomever. Don’t become the automaton of Marwan ibn Al Hakam. He drives you in the direction that he wants. Now you notice (that) in this exchange of words there’s no animosity, there’s no hatred, there’s no we and them. He’s not saying “Uthman- you are not part of this Ummah, you’re not part of the people, you don’t belong.” He’s not saying any of that. What he’s trying to say is there’s something wrong and you have to correct it before it’s too late. Then Uthman replies to Ali and he says the following speak to the people. Is this not a cooperative attitude? Uthman was wrong in his policies especially in his financial policies, especially in promoting his extended family members but we don’t sense here a type of psychological warfare like some people want to present it. Speak to the people (and) tell them to give me a respite (or) tell them I need time so that I may be able to go and solve this is that they feel of victimhood (and) of injustice. Then Ali answers him and he says there’s no reason why you should be given any time for whatever injustice has occurred in Al Madinah, the city state that we are in, as for those who are living at a distance from Al Madinah you should be given enough time for your orders to reach from here to where they are- that’s the respite (or) that’s the delay that you should have. Once again, we don’t sense any hostility, any revenge, any hatred! You can’t! This was a civilised exchange of words on the basis that al haqq has to be said.
      Oh you who are divinely committed to Allah, be conscious of Allah’s power and authority and when you speak make it on the mark and make it precise. (Surah Al Ahzaab verse 70)
      These words go to the conditions and the personalities of those times with precision. They are on target.
       
      In another exchange, and here once again we will realize that there’s no bad blood between Ali and Uthman. Ali is saying to Uthman when it comes to equating you with both of them, in reference to Abu Bakr and Umar, you are not like one of them. They were put in the position of decision making and they excluded themselves meaning it’s true that they had the power to decide things but that power did not have its negative influence on them. Not only did they protect themselves from the psychological ravages of having power they also protected their own families (and) their own next of kin and the inference here is they protected themselves from what you did not protect yourself and your family from. These are words of truth. It doesn’t mean here there’s a sectarian issue, it doesn’t mean here someone is a Mu’min and someone else is a Kafir and all these other things that is extracted from this. Ali is telling Uthman- and once again you can’t detect any friction between them. There’s a disagreement? Yes. But there’s not this psychological motor inside each one of them against the other.- Ali is trying to correct the mistake here he tells him you swam in this power issue as if you were a swimmer in the sea meaning you’ve contaminated yourself just like a swimmer. Can he get rid of the water around him? and that’s how you have dealt with power- as if you are in an ocean of power and that has caused you to lose sight of justice. Until when (or) at what time is this going to come to an end? How far is this going to go? Now here is one of the sharp words which also doesn’t mean that there is this type of sectarian seed that today’s speakers try to make of it. Ali goes on would you not take issue with Bani Umayah as they have dishonored the Muslims in their women and dishonored them in their bodies and flesh (and) also concerning the money that belongs to the Muslims. You have to tell the foolish individuals of Bani Umayah to stop what they are doing. By Allah, if you have a deputy or a governor who is located where the sun sets who is responsible for that injustice that injustice belongs to him and it belongs to you. This could be a lesson in the relationship between those who are on the top and those who are below them making in their jurisdiction their own decisions. From all of this, can anyone sense that there is some type of bad feelings? This was a very apt and accurate description of what was going on. Besides, if you want to correct a mistake you try to win over the person who has structured that mistake or institutionalized that mistake. If you want him to see the light you don’t go and clash with him head to head (or) words against words, you try to penetrate his mind, his conscience (and) his heart so that he can see the light (and) so that he can stop the injustice that is going on
       
      Then in another statement describing Uthman- which these sectarians who come in different flavors and different sizes (don’t know)- Ali said he was a person who was charged with making prime decisions for people. What he did was he contrived some decisions which did not belong in the context (and) he gave people the opportunity to speak against him. When he gave them the opportunity to spread words against him they began doing that. There was a campaign. In today’s language there was a popular campaign against the leader of the Muslims. After they came out expressing themselves people- not Ali- wanted to take revenge. Remember, many of these people are new comers to Islam. They don’t have the sophisticated understanding that we can deal with this through some time. Dhulm is dhulm- and when a person is a victim of injustice and oppression sometimes you can’t ask them for time. They don’t understand it. Eventually they changed the whole set up. We know what happened.
       
      Then in another description of Uthman Ali says Uthman took things into his own hands and he mismanaged (or) he took affairs into his own domain and then the decisions that he made rebounded against him. On one side Uthman took issues into his own hand and wound up doing the wrong thing and you, the general public lost patience but you lost it the wrong way. How accurate a description can you have of the events that we’ve all covered in previous khutbahs? Allah has a social law that applied to a mis-ruler and people who don’t know how to behave when they no longer have patience. There’s a social law that applies here and we should all have studied our history and learnt from the social law that was to take affect because of misrule. Then Uthman says to Ali take from this, he’s referring to silver and gold, whatever you want until you’re full of it in your stomach because you’re burning me with your words. Now we ask you with your Islamic mind and your Islamic heart: does anyone here detect that these are two enemies (and) that if they were given the opportunity they would slit each others throats out of which comes the sectarianism we have in today’s world? Did anyone sense any of that? We covered this territory from whichever we could approach it and we don’t find the justification for the sectarianism that today has pitted Muslim against Muslim, Muslim peoples against Muslim peoples and that is financed and that is fuelled by those who have the money and have the misinformation to present to the Muslim public.
      Oh you who are divinely committed to Allah, be conscious of Allah’s power and authority and when you speak make it on the mark and make it precise. (Surah Al Ahzaab verse 70)
      One of the most difficult things when tension is high and when things are wrong is to say the truth or to speak truth to those who have the power.
       
      Dear committed Muslims…
      We have people in today’s world who have reached positions of power and with that the wealth that they have. These people happen to be in the Arabian Peninsula. Then we have all the rest of us who can’t find the Qur’anic and Prophetic basis and the courage to speak truth to power. That’s all that it takes. With all of the corruption- remember, this little game that goes on from month to month and from year to year- the rulers in the Arabian Peninsula are scared to death of some threat so they run to Washington or some industrial capitals to sign on the dotted line, meaning they’re going to turn over tens of millions of dollars and euros to the military industrial complex in the world. One of their rationalisations in the time frame that we are in is this sectarian issue. Sectarianism to them is more serious than occupying Muslim lands. Sectarianism is to them the justification for preparing for wars. Sectarianism is for them a channel to give resources and money and weapons to those who subscribe to their ideas- we can’t call them ideas, to their notions. These people haven’t developed ideas?! When was the last time you heard of some scholar out of the Arabian Peninsula? Over a thousand years ago! They don’t have them today and then we have Muslims- what’s wrong with us- we say this as brothers to brothers and brothers to sisters- we can’t point?! People who rule are supposed to be outside of the Qur’an and the sunnah?! They are excluded from Allah’s rules and regulations? Something is wrong with us and some of us take pleasure in developing a sectarian argument. They actually think that they have done something very very significant- like they’ve gone beyond the galaxy somewhere?! What is this? OK- if some Muslim has a different interpretation of history what is that going to do? How is that going to solve the issue of poverty or racism or discrimination or occupation or the lack of health care or malnutrition or all these problems that we have? (Do) you think that by developing a sectarian point of view you’re going to solve all these problems? This is the deterioration that we are in and we have to face it. It’s alright- we have to begin somewhere. (Take a) look at yourself- you’re incapable of expressing the meanings of Allah and His Prophet to those who have power in today’s world! You can’t do that?! You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re not harming anyone. The only thing you’re trying to do is make the truth available- that’s all and you’re not capable of doing that and you hide behind different things?! Diplomacy is one thing, sectarianism is another? Yeah- it goes on and on. This is where we are in today’s world. Say “the Saudis, the Saudi regime, the Saudi ruling family is responsible for the divisions among the Muslims.” Who said (and) where did it come from that when a Muslim wants to go to Makkah and Al Madinah he is told “you can’t go or if we give you a visa or a permission to come it’s only going to be for a few weeks and then you have to return.” Where did this come from? Besides this, why can’t we go to Khaybar? Why can’t Muslims in today’s world go to Khaybar? Who said Khaybar is off limits. If Muslims were aware of themselves and what is happening in the real world today’s realities would force the Muslims to go to Khaybar and there would be lectures in Khaybar from the Book of Allah and from the teachings of His Prophet about the people who have stolen the Holy Land. We can’t do that?! No one here has a machine-gun. No one has any promotion of violence or anything like that. All we want to do is express the truth but when we have a crippled psychology no ones willing to say the truth. This is where we are in today’s world. We ask Allah to change this psychology and we know He will not change it unless we ourselves are involved in that change.
      … Allah’s not going to change the direction of society unless that society changes its attitude… (Surah Ar Ra’d verse 11)
      We are long overdue for the change of this regressive and this suffocating attitude. You would pray to Allah to see an enlightened Muslim- a Muslim who is free in his heart and in his mind and can address these issues with the light from Allah and His Prophet. Where are they? Look around- you go to Islamic Centres (and) you go to Masajid (and) you’re virtually going to sleep. That’s what this whole thing is about. That’s what Allah and His Prophet want?! They want us to sleep? We are socially sleeping.
       
       
      This khutbah was presented by Imam Muhammad Asi on the occasion of Jum’ah on 30 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.