الأربعاء، يناير 21، 2009

After Gaza: How the Prophet Coped With Loss « A Resource of Translated Islamic Texts

After Gaza: How the Prophet Coped With Loss

In the Name of Allah, we invoke peace and blessings upon His Messenger.

Going back and thinking of the emotions felt over the last 25 days, one word which found a constant presence in our hearts was ‘helpless’ – the reality that we were helpless, and that we were silently witnessing a helpless people – our helpless people – trapped as Israeli killers patiently bombed them to bits while seated comfortably in the cockpits of American F-16s, as if to fulfill former IDF Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan’s April 1983 wish to see them “scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”

The images of the charred bodies of infants, blood-soaked hijabs of sobbing mothers, mosques turned into rubble, stockpiles of food being fed to white phosphorous flames instead of the starving people they were meant for, fathers frantically and tearfully pulling corpses of family from the remains of bombed out homes – these images will forever remain in our conscience. From a material perspective, this was defeat and loss at its worst. What befell our brethren in Palestine has caused, and will continue to cause, much pain, anxiety, and sorrow in our hearts.

This reality mirrors one experienced by none other than the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his Companions 1,427 years ago following their military defeat at Uhud. When reviewing the events surrounding this defeat, one cannot help but be affected by the helplessness felt by the Muslims the moment they realized just how deep their material loss was in this battle, just as we are feeling at this moment when reflecting on what was taken from us as a result of the Israeli attack on Gaza. However, in reviewing these events, one can also not help but to take his feeling of helplessness and despair and transform it into firmness and strength.

First, let us examine the magnitude of the loss at Uhud.

Uhud affected the Muslims on many fronts. First of all, in what was possibly the most dangerous hour in the life of the Messenger of Allah, he found himself unprotected and exposed to the enemy on the battlefield, except for the presence of Talhah and Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas. This led to the disbelievers rushing to take advantage of the opportunity to inflict as much physical pain on him as they could, and they followed through by pelting him with stones (breaking his tooth and cutting his lip), cleaving his forehead, striking his shoulder with a sword, and striking him in the face so forcefully that his helmet pierced his cheek and caused a gaping wound. This audacity of the disbelievers so affected the Prophet that while wiping the blood from his face, he asked: “How can people who cut the face of their Prophet and break his incisor tooth - he who calls them to worship Allah - how can such people thrive or be successful?”

Imagine also the emotion felt by the Prophet and the Companions at the sight of Mus’ab bin ‘Umayr - who was personally appointed by the Prophet to bring Islam to Madinah in the first place - as both of his hands were amputated by the disbelievers in his attempt to secure the banner of the Muslims before they killed him. Picture in your mind the disbelievers mistaking the corpse of Mus’ab for the Prophet, yelling “Muhammad has been killed!” and sending a wave of disbelief through the Muslim ranks that demoralized many of them and caused them to give up the fight and turn back for Madinah.

Imagine the sadness that swept over the Companions as they assessed the aftermath of the battle to find the corpses of seventy of their brethren scattered around the battlefield, mutilated and disfigured by the spiteful disbelievers. Imagine then the shock and pain of the Prophet as he recognized the body of his beloved uncle, the Lion of Allah, Hamzah, as he lay among the casualties. Ibn Mas’ud said: “We have never seen the Messenger of Allah weeping so much as he was for Hamzah bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib.” To make matters worse, Hamzah’s burial was not quick and easy such that the Prophet could quickly put behind him the immense personal loss he had just experienced, as Khabbab bin al-Arrat said: “No shroud long enough was available for Hamzah except a white-darkish garment. When they covered his head with it, it was too short to cover his feet. Similarly, if they covered his feet, his head would be revealed.”

Imagine how the army returning to Madinah must have felt as they had to inform the family members of each of those seventy Companions killed that they would not be seeing their loved ones again in this life, one of whom was a woman who had lost her husband, father, and brother that day.

Imagine the dismay the Muslims must have felt that after their groundbreaking victory at Badr only a year earlier, they had now lost seventy of their brethren compared to the disbelievers’ casualties that amounted to only 22 men – less than a third of the Muslims’ losses. Such a loss would not only demoralize the Muslim army, but would also leave their military reputation, credibility, and dignity damaged in the eyes of the people.

All of this was the result of one single avoidable act of disobedience to the Prophet on the part of the archers stationed on the hill…all of this death, loss, sadness, and sorrow was easily avoidable had they simply obeyed a single command…

Undoubtedly, such circumstances would bring down any group and cause them immense pain, helplessness, and dismay. Undoubtedly, such circumstances would leave any group feeling that they had just experienced a loss from which they would not recover. However, the Prophet and his Companions were not just any group. They were a group who lived by the slogan {“And do not despair or be sad, as you are the most superior so long as you are believers.”} [Al ‘Imran; 139] They were a group who knew how to take advantage of their situation and hold their heads up high no matter what the odds were stacked against them, and no matter what their enemies did to intimidate them. They were a group who were able to emanate honor and power despite material loss.

Now, let us examine the attitude of the Muslims who had just experienced this loss firsthand.

When the disbelievers had completed their attacks and mutilation of the corpses of the Companions, Abu Sufyan scaled Mount Uhud looking for the Prophet, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar. He called out to them and taunted them, but ‘Umar did not give the response of a defeated, dismayed, weak, and submissive victim. Rather he replied: “O enemy of Allah, those whom you have just mentioned, I tell you that they are still alive. Allah has maintained what you hate!”

Abu Sufyan replied: “The mutilation of your dead is something I did not order. However, it did not displease me. May Hubal be sublime!”

At the behest of the Prophet, ‘Umar replied: “Allah is more Sublime, Exalted, and Mightier!”

Abu Sufyan then shouted: “al-’Uzza is ours, and you have no ‘Uzza!”

‘Umar then made his famous statement: “Allah is our Helper, and you have no helper (الله مولانا و لا مولى لكم)!”

Frustrated, Abu Sufyan muttered: “Today is revenge for Badr, as war is conducted with alternating successes.”

Unrelenting, ‘Umar yelled back: “No, we are not the same. Our dead are in Paradise, while your dead are in Hell!”

The honor, strength, and confidence with which ‘Umar stood up to the leader of the army that had just inflicted defeat upon his own speaks for itself. This shows that material victory or loss meant very little to these people compared to the true victory of the honor associated with being a believer. He was not intimidated or dismayed in the least despite directly conversing with the man whose happiness and joy was in seeing the Muslims tortured and eradicated, and despite the fact that this conversation was taking place directly on the heels of the first military defeat ever experienced by the Muslims.

This shows that no matter how demoralizing a loss may be for you, the Muslim - no matter how many mosques are bombed to rubble, how many children are made into orphans or are themselves burned to a crisp by white phosphorous bombs, how distressing it is that even basic food and medicine are held back from our brothers and sisters by those who have no regard for human life – no matter how cruel a hand you as a Muslim are dealt, you always keeps your head up, your boldness intact, and put aside your anxiety and dismay.

Then came Hamra’ al-Asad.

While the disbelievers were still on their way back to Makkah, the Muslims had arrived back in Madinah in a state of exhaustion, pain, and sorrow. They were also in a state of alert, as they were expecting the disbelievers to turn back and attempt to invade Madinah in light of the perceived weakness of the Muslim army.

However, none of these hindrances prevented the Prophet from what he was about to do next: he went around and gathered all of the injured Muslims who had fought at Uhud the day before in order to lead them in pursuit of the army that had just defeated them. Many fresh, uninjured fighters were available and desperate to join, such as ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy and Jabir bin ‘Abdillah. However, the Prophet only wanted those injured and exhausted soldiers who were still recovering from their wounds to join him. This was unheard of: an army composed exclusively of crippled fighters who had just experienced a major military defeat?!

With the Prophet still recovering from his own wounds, they marched to an area outside of Madinah called Hamra’ al-Asad, only to receive word that their assumptions were true – the disbelievers had turned back and considered attacking Madinah. They still haven’t recovered from Uhud, and they now have to defend Madinah against the same enemy? However, the Prophet’s ability to take advantage of the situation was now going to reverse the psychological loss the Muslims had suffered at Uhud.

He sent a messenger to relay to Abu Sufyan and his troops that the Muslims had regrouped, recovered, and were hot on their heels. Abu Sufyan could not believe his ears, and the anxiety and panic that had gripped the Muslims only the day before was now spread among his own troops. He then decided that it was in his best interests to retreat to Makkah and cancel his plan to attack Madinah. However, in an attempt to frighten and intimidate the Muslims from pursuing him, Abu Sufyan sent a message back to the Muslims that he had gathered the ranks of all the Makkans to lay waste to the Prophet and his army: {“Those to whom the people said: “Verily, the people have gathered against you a great army. So, fear them.””} [Al ‘Imran; 173] What was the response of the injured Prophet and his small group of crippled fighters to this threat from the man who had just dealt them defeat the day before? {“…But it only increased them in faith, and they said: “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.””} [Al ‘Imran; 173] And the injured Prophet stayed at Hamra’ al-Asad with his crippled group, waiting for three whole days to confront this great army that Abu Sufyan had supposedly gathered against them. In the end, when it became clear that Abu Sufyan and the disbelievers were simply bluffing and were too afraid to pull through with their threats, he decided to turn back and return to Madinah. Would anyone have expected the disbelievers to act so cowardly only a day after Uhud?

Reflect on how the Prophet was able to so effectively reverse the devastation of Uhud in just a matter of days:

  • He revived the morale of the crippled Muslims who had just experienced loss and defeat by insisting that they be the ones to accompany him in pursuit of the very enemy that had just defeated them.
  • He decreased the morale of the disbelievers who had just experienced victory by showing them that no matter how devastating a blow the Muslim is dealt, he still has his honor, bravery, and the will to face those who challenge him.
  • He restored the military reputation and power of the Muslims that had temporarily suffered as a result of the events at Uhud.

The effectiveness of the Prophet as a leader in times of crisis cannot be overstated. It is often said that a person can be judged by how he handles crisis and disaster, as anyone can be calm and composed in times of ease. This concept can be applied to groups and nations as well as individuals. Therefore, this episode in the Sirah teaches us that even at the worst times and in the midst of the most depressing crises, it is possible to reverse the loss, psychologically if not materially. All it takes is a sharp mind to observe the situation and see what holes in the wall there are from which one may take advantage and turn the tables to be in his favor, thus turning defeat into victory.

Let us now examine the bounty Allah granted the Muslims as a result of the attitude they showed in the face of loss and defeat.

It should be noted that even after the events of Hamra’ al-Asad, the Muslims were once again dealt tragic losses at ar-Raji’ (where a group of Muslims were betrayed and captured, leading to the famous crucifixion of Khubayb in Makkah) and the Well of Ma’unah (where, in a painful repeat of Uhud, seventy more of the best Companions were killed, this time as the result of betrayal). Victory is not a stagnant condition that remains once it is achieved. Rather, Allah gives and takes it even from the best of people (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and He intertwines it with loss and defeat in order to see how we will deal with each of the respective situations.

The Muslims whose act of disobedience to the Prophet was the single precursor to the devastating loss at Uhud undoubtedly learned their lesson and repented for their error. As a result, when the Prophet laid siege to the fortresses of Banu an-Nathir only a few months later, the Muslims were able to achieve victory without any fighting even occurring. Allah had directly used the weapon of fear and intimidation by placing these into the hearts of Banu an-Nathir, as He Said: {“…and He cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers…”} [al-Hashr; 2] The same blessing was granted to them by Allah only a few months later when the second battle at Badr took place, with the Muslims waiting eight whole days for Abu Sufyan and his army to show up while he meanwhile had decided to return to Makkah instead of taking his chances in facing the Prophet and his Companions. Such blessings were partly the result of the Muslims learning from their mistakes at Uhud and reviewing what it was they had done to contribute to the loss and defeat that had affected the Ummah as a whole. Their unconditional obedience to the Prophet in going out to Hamra’ al-Asad despite their crippled state, as well as the faith, certainty, and bravery they displayed even when threatened by Abu Sufyan’s army, were among the many reasons for the swift victories at Banu an-Nathir and the second Badr.

Similarly, it is upon us to examine ourselves as individuals and groups and see if we are reacting to the devastation and loss experienced in Gaza in the proper way and with the proper attitude. The bravery of the Prophet at Hamra’ al-Asad, the post-defeat boldness of ‘Umar while speaking down to Abu Sufyan, the cleverness of Khalid bin al-Walid in reversing the flanks in the face of an imminent loss at Mu’tah – these should all serve to strengthen us and teach us that despair, pain, anxiety, and victimization should not be in the dictionary of the Muslim. Rather, we should always maintain our honor and confidence following defeat, keep our heads raised high in the face of loss, and face those who continue to challenge us in a bold, smart, and effective way.

{“And do not despair or be sad, as you are the most superior so long as you are believers. If a disaster befalls you, be sure that a disaster has likewise befallen them. And such are the days, we rotate them between the people…”}

الخميس، يناير 15، 2009

SCHOLARS ON GAZA » The Qualities of Those Who Struggle For Allah’s Sake

The Qualities of Those Who Struggle For Allah’s Sake

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Sifāt al-Mujāhidīn
The Qualities of Those
Who Struggle For Allah’s Sake

Shaykh Dr. Mahmūd Abūl Huda al-Husaynī

Dear beloved brothers! There are two verses in the Book of Allah, the Exalted, that are interconnected: one of them is a condition for the other. In the first verse, the Master, Exalted is He, mentioned a contract that the people of faith hope to attain. In the second verse, He mentioned the conditions that must be met for that contract to be accepted. The first verse was presented in an astounding way that draws the people of faith to it, and the second verse detailed the conditions by which contract is accepted.

It is astonishing that our Umma reads these two verses and separates between them. To separate these two verses from each other is to present an proposal and contract without mentioning its conditions. The Umma reads these verses and frequently uses each of them separately, and most are ignorant to the reality that both verses are interconnected and inseparable.

Dear brothers! These two verses are located in Sūrat al-Tawba and most of you have memorized these two verses. Let us read them together and contemplate them so as to know this contract and its conditions. (Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. It is a true promise upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’ān. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And that is the tremendous success. The repentant, the devout worshippers, those who [of Allah], the travellers, those who bow and prostrate, those who command the good and forbid the evil, and those who guard the limits of Allah. And give glad tidings to the believers.) [al-Tawba: 111-112]

Yes, dear brothers: (Indeed, Allah has purchased…)! A purchase is a mutual exchange. He, the Glorified and Exalted, is the Owner of everything; however He affirmed a figurative ownership for the servant and then sought from him that he sells. (Indeed, Allah has purchased…), so where are those who wish to sell? It is nothing more than an ephemeral thing that is given to the King of kings – the One in complete control of the universe; He who grants authority to whom He wills and removes authority from whom He wills; and the One who honours whom He wills and abases whom He wills.

It is a contingent and passing thing granted by the One in whose Hand is all goodness. He requites every soul for what it earns. In whose Hand are the forelocks? Who is the One who is worshipped in the heavens and worshipped on the earth? Who is the One who deserves worship and no one else, and who is praised in reality besides Him? In whose Hand is our entire affair and unto whom is our return? (Indeed, Allah has purchased…) Once, a Bedouin Arab passed by the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam as he was reciting this verse. He asked: “Whose speech is this?” They [the Companions] replied: “This is the speech of Allah.” The Bedouin then said: “In that case, by Allah, the transaction of Allah is profitable; I won’t diminish it one bit.” He then went out in Jihād and returned only as a martyr being carried.

(Indeed, Allah has purchased…), so the servant gave up his life and wealth, and in return, Allah granted reward, recompense, and Paradise, the breadth of which is as wide as the heavens and the earth – and the good-pleasure of Allah is even greater.

(Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers…) because those who are not believers do not understand anything but transactions of wealth.

(Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers…) because the non-believer sells his self and wealth for an ephemeral delight or physical or non-physical gain. There are great number of people in this day and age who sell their souls and wealth. They do not sell them for Allah. No, they sell them to other slaves who do not possess any ability to cause harm or bring benefit. It is nothing more than blinding desires that have blinded them.

(Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers…): this quality is only accepted from those who have realized true faith and conviction in their hearts; to the point that they are more confident with that which is with Allah than that which they possess; those who are attached to the unseen and who hold firm conviction in it and have more certainty in it than that which they feel and perceive with their senses. (Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise., so they kill and are killed…) The Chosen One sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam used to say to his Companions: “No one among you is wounded in the path of Allah - and Allah knows best who is wounded in His path - except that it will come on the Day of Judgement with the colour of blood and with the fragrance of musk”, so not every person who is injured is injured in the path of Allah, and not every person who is killed is killed in the path of Allah: “…so whoever fights in order that Allah’s word reigns supreme, he is in the path of Allah.” This meaning does not accept the possibility of false interpretation; it is detailed, explicit, specific, and precise. “Whoever fights in order that Allah’s word reigns supreme, he is in the path of Allah.” (…They fight in the cause of Allah…) Here, the Qur’ān gives us the conception of the future – from the time this verse was revealed until Allah inherits the earth and all that is upon it. Fighting is a must. The verbal form used in this verse is yuqātilūn, which falls under the form mufā‘ala, which indicates two sides.[1] It is said that the first thing Allah, the Exalted, revealed when He legislated fighting was the verse: (Permission is granted to those who are fought because they are wronged…) [al-Hajj: 39]

It is our destiny and decree that we fight. It is decreed for the people of the truth. It is decreed for the people of the straight path. It is decreed for those who do not sell their souls for this world. It is decreed for those who elevate the words: “They do not fear the blame of the blamers”: they fight! Why doesn’t the so-called “authority” fight for the sake of the blessed land of Palestine? It is because its allegiance is to the resolutions of the so-called “security” council. This council is nothing more than a council of fear and terror, striking fear into the weak. It is nothing more than a council that shields the so-called “chosen people” who were chosen by Satan to fulfil his bidding in the earth.

How many resolutions have they passed under the rubric of what they call international law – that is lawless in reality? It is deaf and mute and unwilling to carry out any of their resolutions. Why it is that war not waged against those who are called the “authority” and who gather in that tight and restricted place? What is the secret behind that? One group sold their souls and wealth for Allah, and the other group sold their souls and wealth for other than Allah. There is a world-wide fear. A truthful group has come together, seeking Allah’s pleasure alone. The spectre of an Islamic emirate terrifies [their opponents]. They say: “It might become and Islamic emirate! I might become a field in which there is no compromise!” Alas, do not succumb to the invitations to compromise.

Dear brothers! The believer is scary! He is scary because he seeks one of the two goods. He read the verse and saw only two things in the contract: (… so they kill and are killed…). He didn’t read in this contract: “…so they kill and gain wealth”, or: “…so they kill and gain war booty.” He did not see anything in the contract that mentioned him getting an increase in wealth; he did not see anything in the contract that mentioned him getting more items; and he did not see anything in the contract that mentioned him getting more pleasurable things.

In this contract, he only saw: (…They fight in the cause of Allah.). So, we understand that if we are upon the truth, then we must fight, and that the enemies of Allah will never accept us wherever they are. O believer! You must understand this – far removed from all sorts of fawning flattery, generalities, lies, and hypocrisy. We are tired of lies and fawning flattery. The enemies of Allah – who are upon falsehood – are not ashamed, whereas the people of truth lower their heads in humiliation. I swear by Allah! This is not pleasing to Him, the Exalted. Speak the truth and do not be afraid of what comes after it. Why are you afraid? Listen to the words of the leader of the believers, our liege lord ‘Alī rādiallahu ‘anhu . He taught us a lesson on martyrdom: On which of the two days shall I flee death?On the day it wasn’t decreed or the day it was?I fear it not on the day it wasn’t decreedAnd on the day it was, caution will save me not (They fight in the cause of Allah so they kill and are killed.) They have tried to feed us the so-called peace process and we almost swallowed it, and the simple people who believe what is said to them almost fell for it, but Allah’s command interdicted their plan. He opened the world’s eyes and the people opened their eyes to witness the wholesale slaughter of children, women, and the elderly.

Yes, we fight. And when we fight, we observe rules of warfare that are higher than those found in the Geneva agreement. Our standard is higher: we do not cut down trees and we do not kill the elderly, women, or children. What do those loud-mouths have to say when thousands of children and women have been either killed or injured?

Having said this, a school was demolished, which resulted in large meetings, and out of anger, some – even of our people – have held gatherings in schools. While we are not pleased with the demolition of a school or any other facility, and while we admit that knowledge is sacred, we have to ask: why have meetings and gatherings taken place inside of schools because of the demolition of one school, and we haven’t seen gatherings take place in the Mosques even though over eight Mosques were destroyed? Why is this?

Why are they playing games with us? More than eight Mosques have been destroyed but we have yet to hold any gatherings in the Mosques, yet when a school is demolished we see gatherings in schools. This is because in the secular system, schools are given precedence to Mosques. According to us however, it is the Mosques that graduate scholars, brave heroes, leaders, and decision makers. When Mosques are demolished in Gaza, the land of martyrs, the world is silent. (Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.) We have already surrendered to the fact that we will both fight and be killed; do you think that this is restricted to Gaza alone? No, it is not, by Allah! There is no one who is truthful and who raises the standard of the truth except that he is included in this verse. It is the Sunna of Allah with respect to the believers. The Prophets fought, and how beautiful indeed is the meeting with Allah, the Exalted, if you are upon the truth. You can either hold fast to the sullen world with humiliation and abasement, or you can have love for the meeting with Allah in order to be in a station of truth with the All-Powerful King. (Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. It is a true promise upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’ān.) This is similar to what He said regarding fasting: (Fasting is decreed for you just as it was decree for those before you…) [al-Baqara: 183] The legislation of physical fighting and Jihād is from the laws of old. (And who is truer to his covenant than Allah?) Do you think that Allah will violate the covenant He takes with His servants? Do you think He breaks His promise? (So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted.) Receive glad tidings if you are among those who sold their souls and wealth for the sake of Allah. In other words, manifest you happiness, because glad tidings comes from the manifestation of happiness that shows on the face. Show your happiness if you are among those who have prepared for martyrdom in the path of Allah. Beware of showing any signs of sadness! Show the happiness on your face because you are soon going to your reception! (So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And that is the tremendous success.)

After this, Allah began to explain the qualities of those who are included in this transaction. In the contract He only mentioned one quality: that of faith, however in the second verse, He mentioned qualities in detail so we may know that those who appoint themselves for Jihād are ineligible until they fulfill the conditions found in these qualities mentioned in the Qur’ān.

(The repentant): the repentant one is he who returns to obedience after having been in disobedience. The repentant one is he who takes a covenant with Allah that he will not take the path of disobedience. The repentant one is he who takes a covenant with Allah that his behaviour will be upright upon the Sacred Law of Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam. The repentant one is he who places Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam directly in front of him. (The repentant): so you have no share in this covenant until you announce a clear and sincere repentance. If you do not, you will remain in a state of lying, false pretentious claims and vain hopes and desires.

Do not let your emotions take a hold of you and do not think that each of you are selected for Jihād. It brings great pleasure and happiness to see the Prime minister of Gaza standing in the tarāwīh prayers, leading the people and crying before Allah. For the longest, we have not seen a politician leading the Umma, leading them in prayer and raising his hands in the qunūt and humbling himself before Allah.

(The repentant): those who realized true purification in their selves and in their behaviour. They repented to Allah from every act of disobedience and odious deed: in transactions, in acts of worship, and in the unlawful matters – in everything!

(… the devout worshippers…): here, this refers to worship according to its broadest understanding and not just prayer – as prayer was mentioned in this verse separately. This refers to the broad understanding of worship in which you do every act, intending thereby to obey Allah. It is the broad understanding of worship that is grasped when you sense the meaning of vice-regency mentioned in the verse: (Indeed, I am placing a vice-regent on the earth.) [al-Baqara:30] You are entrusted with the atmosphere, you are entrusted with the water, and you are entrusted with the trees and the stones. This verse is speaking about the worship that is mastery and perfection of every action; every movement that is done with the intention of obedience to Allah, the Glorified and Exalted. This is worship.

(…those who praise [Allah]…): praise means lauding. For how long will we continue to praise other than Allah? For how long will we act with hypocrisy? For how long will we praise those who demand bribes? How long will we praise thieves, liars, and con-artists? Those who praise know who truly deserves praise. Where are the free men? Where are the men who truly understand the meaning of praise? We are the Umma that was described in the previous scriptures as the nation of those who praise. We are those who praise and who say repeatedly: “all praise belongs to Allah”, so where is this description in us now? Is it even possible for you to praise Allah and praise others along with Him?

It is not possible. You can praise Allah and praise Allah’s servants by Allah’s praise; so whenever Allah praises something you too praise it because you are particular with your praise and you don’t praise other than Allah. And what Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, allowed for you to praise is demonstrated in the clear scales by which He praises His servants. He praised a king named Sulaymān a. He said: (What a good servant he is, indeed he is oft-returning.) [Sād:30] He praised him only on account of his slavehood and return to Allah. He praised another servant of His named Ayūb a: (What a good servant he is, indeed he is oft-returning.) [Sād:44] He praised him because he was patient with the affliction and his heart turned only to Allah.

(…the travellers…): I prefer the interpretation which states that “travel” here refers to Jihād in the path of Allah. To interpret it – as some have – as fasting, changes the outward meaning to a less obvious meaning, not to mention that ‘Atā’ (the famous Qur’ānic exegete) said: “Here, (…the travellers…) are those who wage Jihād.” His proof was the narration of Abū Umāma, which states that a man sought permission from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam to travel [and the word used here comes from sayyaha which means to travel the earth], and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam replied: “The tourism [siyyāha] of my Umma is Jihād in the path of Allah.”

The enemies have divided us and cut us off from each other and laughed at us, all the while the rulers of the Islamic world are their guards. The Malaysian is other than the Indonesian, the Indonesian is other than the Pakistani, the Pakistani is other than the Emirati, the Emirati is other than the Algerian, the Algerian is other than the Jordanian, the Jordanian is other than the Palestinian, and so on. We are one Umma. We are the travellers who go about in the earth in pursuit of knowledge or in its dissemination, or in elevating the word of Allah. The best interpretation for “travel” in the verse is travel in pursuit of knowledge or travel for the sake of Jihād in the path of Allah. We are one Umma without borders! (…those who bow and prostrate…): those who do not bow or prostrate before anyone besides Allah.

(…those who command the good and forbid the evil…): their tongues are not severed; they command the good, which is obedience to Allah. They forbid the evil, which is all that Allah detests and hates. The word “good” is not a figurative expression; it is a legal term that is explicitly defined and described.

(…those who command the good…): those who command the people to stick to the commands of the Sacred Law of Islam in economic matters, political matters, social matters, and in acts of worship. Our religion has not left a single facet of human life except that it has legislated something for it. Let the secularists realize that when we speak of the religion, we speak of its sphere in all facets of life; we are not speaking of singing hymns in a Church or Synagogue or chanting in a Buddhist temple. Our religious discourse stems from our conception of the world; our religion has not left anything small or large out except that it has detailed it. (…and forbid the evil…): and how many indeed are the evils that have entered into our behaviour, causing us to fawn flattery so that they go unnoticed! (…and those who guard the limits of Allah…): those who steer clear of falling into that which Allah made unlawful. (And give glad tidings to the believers.): give glad tidings to them if they understand this lesson.

As our Shaykh, al-Qaradāwī – may Allah assist him – called for a day of anger for the sake of Gaza, I say to him: O Shaykh! Let us make it a day of anger for Allah’s sake because of Gaza! Let us make it a day of anger for Allah’s sake. The time has come for this Umma to become angry for Allah’s sake for one day – let the cause of this anger be Gaza. We are in need of anger after it has become forgotten in our character. We have become used to shallow laughs, all the while we are being torn apart inside! How long can this continue? How much longer will it be announced on the official channels, after news of four missiles being fired from Southern Lebanon, that “We are not involved”? Like someone saying: “I wasn’t involved in my prayer”, or: “I wasn’t involved in my fast.”

All of us have become like that, saying in front of the people: “I am not involved or entangled by being a Mujāhid.” O what humiliation and shame! If only he had sufficed himself and said: “I have not been honoured with that.” If only the news report would say: “I have not yet had the honour, and I hope that someday I will.” That is the least that a weak person can do. Saying: “I am not involved” shows a humiliating state, said by someone who can strike but refuses to do so.

The borders surrounding Palestine are guarded and rifles are pointed at Gaza. Palestine shall remain. We will never recognize the Zionist entity, no matter how much the West or the East, North, South, or inside or outside want us to. We will never recognize the Zionist entity. We do not accept for this criminal entity to reside in our Islamic land. It is obligatory for it to be wiped off the map!

If these words will result in imprisonment or murder, then how sweet it is in the path of Allah! We will never recognize this entity, this entity of criminals … Even in Medina they are eradicating the personal effects of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam yet they are safeguarding the relics of the Jews! In Mecca, the Prophet’s house is wiped out of existence and taken down; it is said that the Prophet’s house might become a cause for idolatry! However, the relics of the Jews must be preserved and protected!

In this stage, I do not wish to offend or go into sensitive issues; at this dangerous stage we should not get into sensitive issues about Salafiyya or other than that. No. All of us are Salafīs in that we follow the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam and adhere to the methodology of his Companions. All of us are the people of ihsān when we worship Allah as if we can see Him. We do not wish for internal conflicts. The real conflict is between Islam and anti-Islam.

Dear brothers! The Book of Allah calls us to offer aid. If you are unable to offer aid except through wealth, then give victory to your brothers with wealth. If you are unable to offer aid except through supplication, then aid them with your supplication: (Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear.) All of us are in our own particular battle-trench. What I don’t want, dear brothers, is for us to remain after this in a state of play and jest and laziness and heedlessness. We must assert our identity and understand what it means to be committed. O Allah, cause us to return to Your religion in the most beautiful of manners. And make us of those who listen to the word and follow the best thereof. I say this statement of mine and I seek Allah’s forgiveness.

[1] Verbs that fit under the generic verbal form of fā‘ala/yufā‘ilu/mufā‘alatan usually indicate that the action is shared between two people or more [mushāraka]. The Shaykh is saying that the verb yuqātilūn indicates that the fighting is two-sided and takes place between two opposing sides. [t]

الثلاثاء، يناير 13، 2009

Muslims Call for US Goods Sanction

Malaysian Union Calls for US Goods Sanction

Malaysians protest Israeli attacks on Gaza, as a consumer union calls for a boycott of US goods. A Malaysian consumer union has called for a worldwide boycott of US products, as protests in support of Gaza spread throughout the globe. "We urge Muslim consumers internationally to unite so that we can teach a lesson to Israel and its allies," an official with the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia, Ma"amor Osman, told reporters Friday. The ongoing deadly Israeli raids in Gaza have sparked protests around the world. At least 812 Palestinians have been killed and thousands others are reported wounded. "This is to object to the arrogance and cruelty of Israel and its allies towards the Palestinians," Osman added. The boycott targets over 100 American brands, such as Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola and Starbucks. So far, more than 2000 Malaysian restaurant owners have backed up the association"s call by refusing to sell the American soft drink with their meals. In Kuala Lumpur, thousands have held two days of continuous protests, shouting anti-Israel slogans and burning effigies of US President George W. Bush and Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged international sanctions against Israel, saying the world has a "moral duty" to save the Palestinians. Former premier Mahathir Mohamad also called on Muslims worldwide to stop using the US dollar. "If enough of us do this, then the value (of the US dollar) will fall, just like what they did to us in 1997," he said, referring to the 1997 Asian economic crisis. Mahathir urged the United Nations to set up a war crimes tribunal to try Israeli leaders involved in the attacks against the Palestinians.


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