ALI AND ABDULLAH IBN ABBAS
- THE STREET M IMBARKHUTBAH (30 November 2007)webpage: www.geocities.com/khutbahshttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/the_street_mimbar/Suggestions & Criticisms: PLEASE e-mail: khutbahs@...It 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 Sisters, Committed Muslims....audio on http://www.islamiccenterdc.com/khutbassermons.htm (16-11-2007)ALI AND ABDULLAH IBN ABBASWith Allahs provisions and the insight that has come to us from Himunto to you from Allah has come lightWith this light, insight and with reliance upon Him, we will continue our march through the difficult and delicates times, issues, personalities, developments and details that have been consigned to oblivion- alas- that we dont want to consider or learn from hence we pay the price. We said in the previous context of the gradual political erosion at the top layer of the Islamic state, we quoted Allahs ayahand be patient for the outcome of Allahs judgment or ruling and do not obey those who tend towards errors and sins or those who are in rejection or denial (meaning rejection and denial of Allahs power presence)This is going to be a very sad and heart wrenching recount that belongs to our experience that comes from ourselves- nevertheless many of us want to look a-scant. Whether we pronounce it or not, we want to disavow this type of political behavior that we are accountable for. This goes as followsWe have a general understanding and we should have a general recollection of the 1st 30-to-35 years after the Prophet passes on. We now are privy to the fact that the Islamic political order is showing signs and symptoms of disintegration at the highest levels. When we say something like this, we have to reiterate and emphasize that political inconsistencies, political adversarial positions as well as military encounters and conflicts does not reflect the moral, social character or cohesion within those Islamic generations that we are looking at. This is an extremely important observation that has to accompany our analyses of the political and therefore the leadership disintegration that set in early on in our common history. In this particular instance we should know that Ali (radi Allahu anhu) had placed Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu), his cousin, to be his deputy or governor of Basra. With the developments of the last 5 and 10 years in Islamic history (meaning the last years of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) and the 1st years of Ali, we realize what happened to Ash-Shaam, the area that is called the Levant, it came under the suzerainty or the power hold of Muawiyah and Amr ibn Al Aas and those who were with them in public. He has a title he is called something like the pontiff of this ummah- for his knowledge of the Quran, his companionship and relationship to Allahs Prophet and for his al balaa al hasan hitherto the side of truth and justice against the forces of instability and the power mongers that are beginning to surface. So far, he has what we can say a clean record but something happened. When ibn Abbas was in charge of Al Basra and he only reported to the Muslim leader Ali, he was entrusted and put in a position of confidence and trust by Ali, but then what happen was a change in personality. He began to place his hand (so to speak) on the budget or treasury of the Muslims in Al Basra. In todays language, the accountant or the minister of the treasury who was in charge of this budget was a person by the name of Abu Al Aswad Ad Dualy. When Abu Al Aswad Ad Dualy realized that Abdullah ibn Abbas was misappropriating the money of the Muslims, he wrote a letter divulging this fact to Ali. He did this away from the public eye. Ali receives this letter and obviously knowing what we already know i.e. the disenchantment of the general public- politically speaking; the feebleness of the people of Kufa and the defeatism that is beginning to show mass solidarity among the people- this was a compounding heart ache that was added to already the many heart aches and headaches that the Imam has had throughout the course of dealing with these people. This came as a major point of disbelief. How can this happen? We can visualize the mentality and psychology that Imam was in when that letter arrived and he read that ibn Abbas- his cousin, companion, confidant and comrade in arms- is playing fast and loose with the Muslim budget. The Muslim budget was the issue around which the opposition to Uthman began. The major criticism of Uthman was that he was not in the mould of Abi Bakr and Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) when it came to Islamic wealth, the peoples money, the distribution of this wealth and favoring his relatives concerning this wealth. The whole Islamic Ummah at that time was polarized because of this very issue for which Ali received a complaint from Abi Al Aswad Ad Dualy concerning ibn Abbas himself. Upon learning this, Ali wrote back two letters- discreetly also- none of this was made public. One of them was a response to Abi Al Aswad Ad Dualy thanking him for divulging this information and the other letter was to ibn Abbas himself, asking him his position towards the financial trust that he is responsible for. The response came back from ibn Abbas to the Imam denying that he had any embezzling activity towards the common Muslim wealth. This also added to the gloom and the miserable atmosphere of public relations in which the Imam was located. Let us say the following- which many Muslims do not know and many Muslims dont want to know because they say if we begin to talk like this we begin a fitnah in the Ummah! Yes- we begin a fitnah in the Ummah if we are feeble minded, cant look at our own experience and learn from it and we fall into a pit of trouble and problems but we consider ourselves able minded, we think of ourselves with confidence and courage so that we can look at our historical self and correct it when it is wrong. Therefore we reply to those voices and characters who say that we are trying to open up a can of worms that we are doing no such thing; we are just opening up the facts of our own history to learn as we are expected to do. Let us say the following things that are not said concerning Abdullah ibn Abbas.When Ali was preparing to go to Ash-Shaam to dual the final round with Muawiyah, Abdullah ibn Abbas showed a reluctance to do so. When Ali went to An-Nahrawan to put an end to this new Khariji break away holier-than-thou political attitude, Abdullah ibn Abbas did not participate. When Ali pressed Abdullah ibn Abbas after this information came out concerning the Islamic treasury and Abdullah ibn Abbas denied that he had his eye on the wealth of the Muslims; when finally Abdullah ibn Abbas calculated that his attitude is going to be exposed and what he is doing privately is going to come out in the open Abdullah ibn Abbas is not a simple person, he lived with the management of Abi Bakr and Umar and he saw how they held their deputies, governors and representatives in Egypt, Iraq, Ash-Shaam, Arabia and Al Yemen publicly accountable for every penny that was in their control and Ali was following in this same direction, he wanted everything transparent- when Abdullah ibn Abbas realized that he was sooner rather then later going to surface and be held accountable for what Abu Al Aswad Ad Dualy was describing to the leader of the Muslims in Al Kufa, what did he do? This is the area brothers and sisters- we know this is harder for us to say than it is for you to hear. Abdullah ibn Abbas took the amount of 6,000,000 dirhams from the treasury of Al Basra, it wasnt easy doing that- its not like he went one day and he put or loaded this amount on a means of transportation and then just cut loose. He knew that there were people that would not let him get away with this so what he did is he relied on his maternal side of family called Bani Hilal to secure his root out of Al Basra into Arabia. There were limited skirmishes that threatened to break out into a type of serious conflict, but the upshot of all of this was Abdullah ibn Abbas managed to take 6,000,000 dirhams from the money that belongs to the Muslims and escape with this amount of money to Makkah. He didnt go anywhere else. Why did he go to Makkah? This is also a blind spot in the Muslim mind. We encountered this before. People who would breakaway from central authority would rush to Makkah- why? This is the question that has to be asked and this question has to be answered! We may not have the full and satisfying answer to it, but all indications are that Makkah even though it was (we said this before) physically liberated, psychologically, historically and culturally it was not liberated. Beneath the Makkan surface the forces of Asabiyah were brewing. Asabiyah is a word that every Muslim should know. It is clan solidarity which contravenes and contradicts Islamic brotherhood. This was the choice for people to go to and Abdullah ibn Abbas chose to go to Makkah. We want to ask- remember just several weeks ago (if that), we were speaking about the arbitration, at-tahkeem between the two sides the side of Ali and the side of Muawiyah and we realized that the representative of the Imams side was super imposed on him and Abu Musa Al Ashari was the one who was chosen by public consent to represent the people of Iraq (so to speak) i.e. the camp of Ali. We knew or it was mentioned at the time that Alis choice was Abdullah ibn Abbas- the same person who comes out with this public personality and communal character. What are we to do? Are we to say that the leader of the Muslim has to be accountable for every subject, every citizen and every individual constituent of his or are we to learn that there are failures in Islamic personalities- this is in reference to ibn Abbas. His accountability is an affair of the day of judgment- we are not trying to pass judgment on personalities we are only here to try to factually look at these personalities and if there is a failure trait in them, we have to acknowledge it and point to it. If this person, who was in the confidence of Ali at the time of this tahkeem shows that he no longer is a supporter of his own Imam- because there was correspondence between Ali and ibn Abbas and in his correspondence to him Ali asks him why have you run away with Muslim money and with Muslim wealth? Why have you done such a thing? And ibn Abbas says the following I would rather be held accountable to Allah for a portion of the Muslim wealth which I took rather then to be held accountable for the Muslim blood that you shed. You meaning Ali. When Al Imam read this, he said and was not ibn Abbas parts of the wars that shed this blood- in reference to Al Jamal and As-Siffin, when ibn Abbas was no regular individual. Remember, he was in charge of one (like what the military people say today) one division of the Muslim armed forces. He was something like (what you would call today) a general in the Muslim armed forces in both Al Jamal and As Siffin but look what happened. This person, who spent most of his life on the right side of the issue began to look at the affairs of the Muslim- in his own worldly mind he saw the fortunes and the future of Ali are bleak- were not getting anywhere- and the fortune and the future of Muawiyah and his camp are on the rise. What do you do with Islamic persons who behave like this? Are we strictly speaking history here or can we see them in the world around us today?! Let us be a little more blunt with you- some of you sometimes just dont get it- when we speak about ibn Abbas, Al Khawarij, Ahl Al Basra and Ahl Al Kufa, who are we speaking about? Theres another word for these people. They were or are (however way you want to look at it) the Shia of Al Imam Ali. Is this a heavy statement for you to ponder?! How many of these Shias of Al Imam Ali do we have today? Arent there turn coats around? This is as blunt as we can make it. Some of you- we do care how you classify yourself- as if we dont know this history Do you know, they call this person who speaks to you today from this street for the past quarter-of-a-century almost- Oh he just speaks about politics; ask him about zionism and the jews and he will give you an answer from the bottom of the pits or from the extent of the horizon, as if we dont know these issues. If we are silent about them, do you think we are superficial? If we bring them to your attention, as we are forced to do; (weve never spoken about these issues before because they were never killing us). Some of our ignorance about these issues may have vouched for us in the past, but today what do you do when our enemies- who are sworn enemies, (whom we can see them with our eyes), but then we have our bosom enemies who are concealed in our history and rituals who would rather give our secrets to the imperialists and zionists of today and they claim that they are followers of the Imam and they probably do not measure to an umpteenth proportion of ibn Abbas himself- they are all around us. They look at this world and how is the power shifting and they shift with that power and they leave the people of conscience and principle just like they left the Imam way back then and they think we cannot see them they think we do not know them! How else are we to speak? Brothers and sisters committed Muslims- dont force us to say names. We are not entertaining ourselves with taking holier-than-thou positions; this is a toiling Islamic world; were not running behind the scene trying to build bridges with an enemy that has 1,400 years of history, an enemy that is unmistakable in todays world. We say this just as news comes out that (to shift your attention from maybe your own peculiar culture, linguistic group, traditions that have become religion and customs that have become the creed) there was in the making a plot by the Salafi / Al Qaida types, (this is the words that are used today, its not our description and designation, its whats being said), there was a team of them in Lebanon who were plotting and planning the assassination of the leader of Hizbullah in Lebanon. Nothing like that could have been planned or thought of if it were not for these sectarian issue that we are and have been covering in this khutbah in the past, (we dont know), year or two- weve lost count. It is this sectarian ground and this cultural and nationalist background that is at the bottom of the movements that are taking place in the name of Islam. Imperialism and zionism have engaged a proportion of Muslims diplomatically and politically and it has engaged another part of the Muslims via the sectarian ropes and we are vigilant and hawk/eagle eyes on what they are doing. We are not absent minded and oblivious. Beware of the insight of the committed Muslims because he looks, watches and visualizes with Allahs Nur.Brothers and sisters, committed MuslimsWe have reached a time in which (to some of us) the issues have become confusing issues. Some of us can no longer see straight. The issues are blurred- as they should not be. Why should anyone be subjecting him or herself to issues and affairs around us which we cannot understand? What is it? Whats wrong? Why cant we understand this? Were not lacking in intelligence; we are not primitive or the meander fall types. We should be enlightened and enlivened by Allah and His Prophet and the endowment they left us with- His book and His Prophet- but we have some people who think theyre smart. They think people who hold on to principle are slow or not witty enough. You (can) bring these same people- remember, brothers and sisters we have been covering a territory in our history and an era in our 1st generations in which we have not eluded to what some of us consider to be the major tragedy in Islamic history- thats in reference to Karbala. In all of this, we ask you, where were Al Imam Al Hassan and Al Imam Al Hussein (radi Allahu anhuma)? Were they in India, on the shores of the Mediterranean somewhere or were they in the midst of all of this? How come these speakers who come around and talk to you about Karbala and Aashura dont give you the full scope of it? Because if they do, theyre going to expose themselves and they dont want to do that, so its better just to concentrate on the climax; but leave out of your mind and take out of public attention everything that led to that climax. Weve nothing to hide- what is left? Their connivance is what placed us in the street almost 25 years ago. We dont forget. Where are they today? Only very few of you- we can count them on one of my hands- have remained steadfast during this time period, but wheres the rest? They are out there in their cultural centers, observing their cultural rituals and not tackling the backbone of todays issues; let them scream and stew in their cultural soup; but as long as there are lungs that breathing and hearts that are pulsating, we will continue to express the truth come what may- and whatever comes is what Allah decrees.
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