Jummuah Lecture 4th December 2015
ASSALAMU ALAYKUM WA RAHMATULLAH WA BARAKATUHU
A’UZU BILAHI MINASH SHAYTANIR RAJIM
BISMILLAHI RAHMAN NIR RAHIM
AL HAMDU LILAHI RABBIL ALAMIN
ASH HADU AN LA ILLAHA ILLALAH WAH DAHU LA SHARI-KALAHU
LAHU AL-MULK WAL LAHU AL-HAMD, WA HUWA`ALA KULLI SHAY’IN QADIR
ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMAD DUR RASUL LALLA WA ABDUHU
WASSALATU WAS SALAMU ALA MUHAMMAD, WA ALA UMATAHU
PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD BE UPON ALL OF YOU
I SEEK REFUGE IN GOD FROM ALL PERVERSITY AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL
ALL PRAISE IS DUE TO THE CREATOR, THE LORD OF ALL THE WORLDS
I BEAR TESTIMONY THAT THERE IS NO DEITY EXCEPT ALMIGHTY GOD WHO IS UTTERLY UNIQUE AND WHO HAS NO ASSOCIATE OR PARTNER
TO GOD BELONGS EXCLUSIVE SOVEREIGNTY AND ALL PRAISE, AND HE HAS ABSOLUTE MASTERY AND CONTROL OVER EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE
I BEAR WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS GOD’S SERVANT AND MESSENGER
PEACE AND SALUTATION TO MUHAMMAD AND TO HIS COMMUNITY
Today is the 22nd day of Safar in the year 1437 of the Islamic hijri almanac and it is the 4th December 2015 in the Christian Gregorian calendar. The theme of today’s sermon (khutbah) is to examine the role and place of the Holy Qur’an within Islam. Is Islam’s sacred scripture a detailed and complete testament for the faith or does it require further explanation or extra elaboration from other non-divine literature and later secondary sources? In other words, is the transcendent text of Islam sufficient and adequate by itself, or is it in need of later supplementary works and non-Qur’anic writings to clarify Islam’s true teachings? This is the central question that all believers must answer.
Each day people are bombarded by relentless propaganda from the Muslim clergy (ulama and fuqahah) telling them that they need additional elucidation to understand the Holy Qur’an and to practice their faith. Is this really the case? First, we need to ascertain if the clergy’s misconceptions are true or false. All those who claim that Muslims cannot grasp or comprehend the primary book of their religion by themselves, are in effect defying, no they are challenging the exclusive supremacy of the Holy Qur’an. They then cunningly replace it with three invented constructs that have no divine authority. These three artificial sources include the man-made hadith, the masculine–invented shari’ah (medieval opinions masquerading as God’s law) and the male-manufactured rulings (fatwahs). However, when the clergy does so, they undermine the Holy Qur’an by subverting and distorting its original message. Most Muslims sadly have never read Islam’s text from cover to cover in a language they speak. But if they did so, we should ask them what part of the book did they not understand? Anyone who analyses the Holy Qur’an in its totality by themselves with an open mind will notice just how clear and distinct the divine epistle is. The Holy Qur’an, you will find, is complete and comprehensive contains all the necessary details to live as Muslims. Unfortunately, the clergy have successfully conditioned most people to regard the Holy Qur’an as incomplete and deficient and in need of various other supplemental sources like the questionable hadith, the suspect shari’ah, the antiquated ‘tafsir’ (archaic commentaries by medieval scholars) and idiotic fatwahs. But this erroneous perspective contradicts explicit Qur’anic commandments. For example, it states the following in Surah al-Nahl 16:89
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَىٰ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ ۚ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ ٨٩
WA-NAZZALNA ALAYKAL KITAB TIBYANAN LI-KULLI SHAY-IN
WA-HUDAN WA RAHMATAN WA-BUSHRA LIL-MUSLIMINx
AND WE HAVE REVEALED THIS BOOK TO YOU WHICH HAS A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING; AND A GUIDANCE, A MERCY AND GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE WHO SUBMIT.
As this passage states, the Qur’an explains all matters – it is not the other way round where later manufactured ancillary books expound upon the holy text. That is a false doctrine purposely fabricated by the Muslim clergy. In fact, the Qur’an stresses that it is complete and comprehensive, rebuking all believers for seeking alternative guidance. We read in Surah al-Aam 6:114
أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّـهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ١١٤
AFA-GHAYRAL LAHI ABTAGHI HAKAMAN WA-HUWA AL-LATHI ANZALA ILAY KUMUL KITABA MUFASSALAN
SHALL I SEEK A SOURCE OF LAW AND A JUDGE OTHER THAN GOD? WHEN IT IS HE WHO HAS REVEALED TO YOU THE BOOK FULLY DETAILED?
Once we acknowledge that the Holy Qur’an is indeed fully explained and reject the popular myth that God’s words does not need the expedient hadith or the contrived shari’ah opinions or the dubious man-made fatwahs, then we will discover that many deviated practices and twisted dogmas have crept into Islam. Most Islamic leaders promote blatant falsehoods about the Holy Qur’an simply in order to justify their own distorted customs and warped beliefs that they derive from entirely made-up sources that are in complete defiance with the Islam’s sacred scripture. Indeed, the traditional Islamic clergy champions many falsified dogmas and beliefs. These include the incorrect notion that Muslims are duty-bound to wage militant jihad; that stoning of adulterers is Islamic law; that it is ‘Islamic law’ that blasphemers and heretics should be killed; rules that ban religious liberty for all believers; the flawed doctrines about the return of Jesus; that Friday Salah al-Jumu’ah prayers are only compulsory for men; the false regulation that female face-masking (niqab) and headcoverings (hijab) are obligatory for Muslim women. These are just some of the strange cultural and theological subversions of Islam. There is no doubt they are all in complete contravention of the uplifting principles and universal moral values of the Holy book.
All those who rely on these non and extra-Qur’anic sources to the detriment of Islam’s sacred scripture come up with old clichéd excuses for the supposed need for hadith, shari’ah and fatwahs by repeatedly saying: ‘Well, how do we know how to pray, how to make wudhu, or how much charity to give?’ But such questions are asked without any recourse to Islam’s sacred scripture! The divine text actually answers all these kinds of questions – the problem is that people rarely look to the Qur’an for solutions but depend on bigoted mullahs to do so.
Most Muslims have been programmed to regard the Holy Qur’an as a sort of mystical or cryptic book, something simply beyond the grasp of the average believer. In fact, they have been brainwashed that it is problematic to perceive or understand God’s words without knowing other doubtful sources like man-made hadith, the masculine shari’ah and male-issued fatwahs. This myth has been purposely built over time. The self-appointed Muslim clergy copies the tactics of Goebels, Hitler’s Propaganda minister, who is notorious for saying: ‘The bigger the lie, the more you repeat it, the more the people believe’. This is exactly what the ulama does when they repeat ad-nauseam that the Qur’an can only be interpreted by experts and scholars, not by ordinary people or thinking individuals. This paralyzing grip of the clergy on the public mentality leads most Muslims to follow a warped and twisted theology that is not based upon the Holy Qur’an but on the terrible triplets: hadith, shari’ah and fatwahs. By blindly adhering to this perverted brand of Islam, most Muslims do not heed God’s law but follow the fallible opinions of a biased clergy. With this uncritical reliance on the suspect hadith and archaic shari’ah books and discredited fatwah rulings, most Muslims do not employ ijtihad (analytical reasoning) in practicing a rational faith, but just resort to taqlid or blind belief in whatever the mullahs assert.
It is so sad that the first port-of-call for most Muslims is not to consult God’s divine text but to rely on antiquated hearsay and false information contained in the hundred of thousands of fabricated tales and forged hadith that now swamp the Muslim landscape. All this brazenly defies key Qur’anic orders that even the Prophet Muhammad himself was obliged to obey. Indeed, the Holy Book instructs the Prophet to adhere only what was revealed to him and not to follow his individual whims or personal desires in terms of Islam’s precepts. Like everyone else, the blessed Prophet of Islam was commanded in Surah al-Aam 6:50 to solely heed God’s revelations and to reject everything else:
قُل لَّا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّـهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ٥٠
QUL LA AQULU LAKUM AYNDI KHAZA-‘INU ALLAHI WALA ALAMU AL-GHAYBA WA-LA AQULU LAKUM INNI MALAKUN IN AT-TABI’U ILLA MA YUHA ILAYYA QUL HAL YASTAWI AL-AMA WAL-BASIRU AFALA TATA-FAKKARUN
SAY, ‘I DO NOT SAY TO YOU THAT I HAVE TREASURES OF GOD, NOR DO I KNOW THE UNSEEN, NOR DO I TELL YOU THAT I AM AN ANGEL. I ONLY FOLLOW WHAT IS REVEALED TO ME. SAY: `CAN A BLIND MAN AND ONE WHO SEES BE ALIKE ?’ WILL YOU NOT THEN REFLECT.
This verse tells Muslims that the Prophet himself was subject to divine edicts and that he was not at liberty to legislate or innovate without the express consent of Almighty God. Ask yourself why this undeniable Qur’anic law is not brought to the notice of Muslims today? This question alone should convince Muslims that they should not recklessly obey religious rules and regulations just because the majority of people do. The clergy has an established pattern in producing suspect and startling hadiths to vindicate their erroneous beliefs, by claiming that because the majority of people support them, they must be right. However, the Holy Qur’an states the exact opposite by declaring that the majority are more often than not in error. We find reference to this remarkable Qur’anic truism in Surah al-Aam, Chapter 6 Verse 116:
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ ١١٦
WA-IN TUTI’A AKTHARA MAN FIL AL-ARD YUDILLUKA ‘AN SABILIL LAHI IN YATTA-BI’UNA LAL LATH-THANNA WA-IN HUM ILLA YAKHRUSUN
IF YOU OBEY THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ON EARTH, THEY DIVERT YOU FROM THE PATH OF GOD. THEY FOLLOW CONJECTURE; THEY ONLY GUESS
Here we have it in black and white. Believers who follow the majority are not necessarily on the straight path. Indeed, the infallible Qur’an tells Muslims to be wary of this tendency. But it is self-evident that most people have been conditioned to depend on the invented hadith, the manufactured shari’ah and the fabricated fatwahs to practice Islam. But they are simply deluded. Their spurious thinking and dependency on this secondary literature is not equivalent to following the true faith. Sadly, whenever such Muslims come across any Qur’anic verse contained in outdated writings, they automatically accept medieval views to be authentic because the long dead author was supposedly ‘qualified’ while they are not. But Muslims should be wary of the superficial learning of these so-called experts /scholars, past and present. Let’s take just one illustration of their foolishness. The word hijab is found eight times in the Holy Qur’an but not once does it allude to any female head-coverings. It is only used to describe a partition, a curtain, a barrier, a divider or a screen. Yet, the conventional clergy hijacks this term to claim that it means compulsory hair concealment for Muslim women. This is a fine example of how the ulama maligns and subverts the holy text of Islam by violating clear Qur’anic injunctions to use our intellect to comprehend divine truths. Surah al-Anbiya 21:10 reinforces the imperative of reason and logic.
لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَابًا فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ ۖ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ١٠
LAQAD ANZALNA ILAYKUM KITABAN FIHI THIK-RUKUM AFALA TA’QILUN
WE HAVE SENT DOWN TO YOU A BOOK WHICH IS A MESSAGE FOR YOU. DO YOU THEN NOT UNDERSTAND AND COMPREHEND?
Most Muslims have been programmed to believe that they must know man-made hadith before they can begin to understand the Qur’an. They are taught that the hadith clarifies things that are not comprehensible in the Qur’an. But even this statement is ludicrous, since the hadith partly explains only 28 of the Qur’an’s 114 chapters, leaving 86 surahs unaccounted. Moreover, the hadith are silent about all Qur’anic abbreviations. But because of the clergy’s unyielding propaganda, many Muslims have been seduced by secondary literature that are all un-Qur’anic and non-divine. Several verses affirm the intrinsic self-explanatory nature of Islam’s sacred book. In other words, the Holy Qur’an explains itself and that God is the best teacher. The sacred scripture does not need any man-made hadith that were compiled over 250 years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. We find indisputable confirmation of this in Surah al-Araf 7:52
وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ٥٢
WA LAQAD JI’NAHUM BI-KITABIN FASSAL-NAHU ‘ALA
AYL-MIN HUDAN WA-RAHMATAN LIQAWMIN YU’MINUN
FOR WE HAD CERTAINLY SENT UNTO THEM A BOOK, BASED ON KNOWLEDGE, WHICH WE EXPLAINED IN DETAIL, – A GUIDE AND A MERCY TO ALL WHO BELIEVE.
Again, we see corroboration of this essential Qur’anic dictum in Surah al-Aam 6:105
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ وَلِيَقُولُوا دَرَسْتَ وَلِنُبَيِّنَهُ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ١٠٥
WA-KATHALIKA NU-SARRIFU AL-AYATI
THIS IS HOW WE EXPLAIN OUR REVELATIONS IN VARIOUS WAYS
There is added confirmation of this Qur’anic maxim in Surah Yunus 10:24
كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٢٤
KATHALIKA NUFASILU AL-AYATI LIQAWMIN YATAFAKKARUN
THUS DO WE EXPLAIN THE SIGNS IN DETAIL FOR PEOPLE WHO REFLECT
From these illuminating Qur’anic excerpts, it is clear that the sacred scripture perpetually re-affirms the eternal Islamic truth that God Himself has clarified the transcendent text for believers, that they do not need any supplementary literature or non-Qur’anic sources for their religious guidance. In the eternal words of the Creator, the holy book reaffirms that ‘We have explained it’, that God alone expounds and elaborates on the revelations, not the Prophet or his Companions, nor the first generations of Muslims or latter-day mullahs. Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an makes it quite plain that God’s words and His divine explanation is entirely sufficient for all those who ponder the sacred text as they are illuminating signs ‘for a people who think, who reflect’.
Contrary to popular mythology, the Qur’an contains all the valid information about Islam and it is a timeless and universal guide for individuals seeking to connect with the Creator. Unfortunately, so many Muslims do not know much
about the sacred book themselves and follow only what they have acquired by osmosis or what has been drip-fed into them by a bigoted clergy. But Islam’s transcendent text confirms that none of the Holy Qur’an’s flawless teachings can be challenged or subverted by any external force or human agency. We read about God’s perpetual divine protection in Surah al-Hijr 15:9
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ٩
INNA NAHNU NAZZALNA ALTHIKRA WA-INNAL LAHU LA HAFITHUN
WE HAVE SENT DOWN THE REMINDER AND WE WILL SURELY GUARD IT
Of course, it follows: what is the purpose of protecting the Holy Qur’an from corruption if its meaning can only be reached through corruptible sources, from the hadith, shari’ah, fatwahs, etc that were all recorded several centuries after the Prophet’s death? There would be no point as the purpose would be defeated.
Since there were no hadith collections available to the Muslim masses for the first 300 years of Islam, how did early Muslims practice their religion, if it was not based on the Qur’an alone? Moreover, Muslims must admit that there is nothing ambiguous or confusing about the divine text, all it needs is an agile mind and independent reasoning together with a robust intellect to decipher its practical guidance to reap its enduring benefits within the context of its own internal coherency and chronology. All this is made clear at the beginning of Surah al-Hijr 15:1
الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ ١
ALIF-LAM-RA TILKA AYATUL KITABI WA-QUR-ANIN MUBININ
ALIF LAM RA. THESE ARE THE AYATS OF REVELATION, – OF A QUR’AN THAT MAKES ALL THINGS CLEAR.
The Lord thus chastises Muslims who rely on extra-Qur’anic literature and alternative non-divine sources of Islamic law. God condemns all those who formulate religious traditions and theological fairytales, telling people to obey these non-scriptural texts beyond that what the Creator has ordained in His sacred book. We find striking affirmation of this in Surah al-Qalam 68:36-38
MA LAKUM KAYFA TAHKUMUN AM LAKUM KITABUN FIHI TADRUSUNA INNA LAKUM FIHI LAMA TA-KHAY-YARUNA
WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, HOW DO YOU JUDGE? DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER BOOK WHICH YOU STUDY? FINDING IN IT WHATEVER YOU WISH?
From this decisive denunciation of all alternative literature and supplementary texts, it should be obvious to Muslims that it is God’s directive that we should follow no book other than the Holy Qur’an. Of course, Muslims have ritual practices such as salah and hajj (prayer and pilgrimage), which have been derived from the authentic sunnah. However, this does not mean that we blindly accept teachings that clash with the Qur’an or believe in contentious dogmas that have no Qur’anic validity. Believers must take the Holy Qur’an as their exclusive guide and reject all non-Qur’anic material or questionable literature. While some Muslims ask where in the Qur’an are rituals explained, they should be told that religious devotions are living trans-generational practices that has been passed down from one generation to the next, just as we all learn skills from others such as talking, walking, swimming, cooking, cycling, driving etc. The knowledge of Prayer, Wudhu, Hajj and other Islamic rituals that are mentioned in the Qur’an have all been passed on seamlessly from one generation to another on the basis of what the early Muslims saw what the Prophet did and then successfully transmitted it to their offspring.
As a general rule, Muslims must know that all religious devotions are valid when they conform with the definitive values, ethics and morality of the Holy Qur’an. Although most Muslims admit the wisdom behind this dictum, this is unfortunately not the reality since numerous so-called Muslim customs like forced marriage and female genital mutilation openly contravenes God’s scriptural laws. So, my friends, Muslims cannot live by Qur’anic criteria if they do not learn and study the paramount text of our faith directly and independently. Therefore, all of us first have to comprehend the Holy Qur’an ourselves in order to ascertain and implement Islamic tenets. In this way alone, can believers attain theological self-empowerment. But, if Muslims have been conditioned into embracing various classical opinions and an unthinking dependency upon supplementary and man-made sources like the hadith, shari’ah and fatwahs that brazenly contradicts the sacred scripture, it is not surprising that many bogus non-Qur’anic doctrines, like violent jihad, the return of Jesus and female non-attendance of Friday prayers, have all infiltrated and poisoned the beautiful religion of Islam.
The Muslim clergy likes to deflect and divert people from the Holy Book of Islam by manipulating selected Qur’anic passages. The blatant warping of these verses is evident to all those who truly understand the Qur’an because falsehood is no match for the truth. We find corroboration of this religious dictum in Surah al-Aam 6:115-116 where Muslims are reminded not to follow the majority blindly as they will only be led astray by those who lie.
It must be borne in mind by Muslims that for the first three centuries of Islam, there were no hadith literature or so-called tafsir (commentary) books. These were written much later when the Prophet Muhammad’s express ban against the writing down of his sayings was cast aside by later Muslim rulers. So, for the first 300 years, Muslims performed ritual tasks and religious devotions in accordance with Qur’anic teachings and the Prophet’s living example (sunnah). Though it was a time when fabricated hadith and other falsehoods attributed to Islam’s founder became commonplace, this did not preclude Muslims from fulfilling original Qur’anic commandments. In fact, Abu Bakr and Umar, the immediate successors of the Prophet, banned and burned hadith in line with categorical Qur’anic teachings as well as the Prophet’s definitive instructions. Sadly, subsequent Muslims ignored these clear directives with the result that man-made hadith has become more important and even superior than God’s original divine text. Today, the hadith’s supemacy and dominance over the Holy Qur’an is tragically overwhelming and all pervasive.
Regrettably, most Muslims remain uneducated as to what the Holy Qur’an says and they subscribe to theological dogmas that are grossly distorted and falsified because believers have no direct knowledge of their own sacred book. It is not surprising that God informs believers that the Prophet will complain about their insincerity and infidelity on Judgment Day in Surah al-Furqan 25:30
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا ٣٠
WA QA-LAL RASUL YA RABBI INNA QAWMI IT-TAKHATHU HATHA AL-QUR-ANA MAHJURAN
AND THE MESSENGER SAID, ‘O MY LORD, MY PEOPLE HAVE INDEED DESERTED THIS QUR’AN’
In this remarkably candid Qur’anic excerpt prophesying the inevitability of the Last Day, Muslims are warned that the Prophet will rebuke his followers for not remaining true to the sacred scripture, for forsaking the transcendent text for alternative religious literature and other rival sources of law like the forged hadith, the suspect shari’ah and manufactured fatwahs. We see all around us proof of Muslims substituting God’s perfect holy text for man-made books when we should be adhering to the Qur’an alone. As long as Muslims do not practice what the Holy Qur’an teaches, but blindly follow the artificial hadith, shari’ah and the fatwahs, we will jettison the divine text for human traditions, the infallible divine book for the fallible opinions of men. We can only be real Muslims when we give our first and foremost loyalty to the Holy Qur’an alone and not to man-made rules and regulations. To do so, we must embrace Muslim theological self-empowerment so that we can become knowledgeable believers. This must be our main goal if we wish to remain faithful to the God’s pristine message. So, my dear friends, from the Qur’anic verses we have considered today, it should be clear to all devout Muslims that they should heed the text of God exclusively and not the traditions of man if they wish to attain genuine piety and be authentic believers. Let us remember this central lesson and share it with other co-religionists and fellow Muslims everywhere. Inshallah.
AL HAMDU LIL LAH WAS SALATU WAS SALAMU ‘ALA RASUL LUL LAH KHATAMAN NABI’IN WA KHAYRIL MURSALIN MUHAMMADIN WA ‘ALA AHLIHI WA SAHIBI AJMA’IN. WA MAN WA’LA
ALL PRAISE IS DUE TO GOD, PEACE AND GREETINGS TO THE MESSENGER OF GOD, ON MUHAMMAD, THE SEAL OF THE PROPHETS AND GOD’S NOBLE APOSTLE. PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO MUHAMMAD’S COMPANIONS
Those who attend this Jumu’ah regularly, knows that in common with the practice of the Prophet, the first portion of the khutbah deals with matters relating to din, the spiritual and theological dimensions of Islam, while the second part of the khutbah now focuses on dunya, the world around us and what the UK Muslim response should be to current events and world affairs.
This week, there are three items to be brought to your attention. The first relates to the UK, the second to Switzerland, and the third to the USA.
It seems that the UK does not want to learn from its catastrophic military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Now this poodle of the United States has just voted in the British parliament to embark on airstrikes in Syria, again without any legitimate UN authority. This bombing of ISIS by British warplanes will fail to dislodge these Muslim militants from Raqqa and other strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Indiscriminate air attacks on these cities will only mean more so-called collateral damage and the killing of innocent civilians. Even before Britain’s airstrikes, twelve other nations, including the US, France, Russia, Australia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey have all sent fighter aircraft to pulverize ISIS. Thus far, these aerial bombings have not any desired effect as ISIS remains in control of territory and recruits more fanatical fighters to its cause. With both superpowers at war with ISIS, along with other major players like Turkey, France and Britain, ISIS is successfully presenting itself as the only real defender of true Islamic values and vision, especially when thousands of innocent women, men and children are killed by foreign air power. Russian war planes alone have caused the death of over 1500 civilians in the past two months, far greater than the number killed by ISIS. Since random bombings have not worked in Syria, the time is right for an alternative military strategy. An effective blockade to besiege Raqqa and Mosul by local and foreign forces is the best option to minimize civilian deaths. Nothing goes in and nothing comes out. This military quarantine will cut off all fuel, arms and technology as well as sever all communication links, and permit only food and medicine to enter these encircled ISIS strongholds. It will not take more than a year to defeat ISIS by trapping them inside the cities they control. So, Britain’s entry into the Syrian quagmire will not expedite the ending of that bloody conflict. It will only ignite further ISIS retaliation both in the Middle East and on the soil of Europe. Sadly, this terrible tragedy is only set to continue for some time to come, with Muslims impotent to bring peace and justice to the Islamic heartland.
From Switzerland comes the encouraging news that women will be fined for wearing face-masks in public in the canton of Ticino. The region’s legislature approved the law last week, banning all niqabs and burkahs in the wake of the Paris killings. It is now a criminal offence for any woman in this Italian -speaking canton in southern Switzerland to hide her face in all public places, including shops, restaurants, government buildings, behind the wheel of a car, etc. No exceptions will be made for tourists visiting the region. A local sponsor of the new law explained the reasoning behind this legal banning of all face-masks: “Those who want to integrate are welcome here irrespective of their faith. But those who rebuff our values and aim to build a parallel society based on their peculiar religious customs, and want to enforce it upon our society, are not welcome”. This latest initiative against female face-masking replicates similar legislation in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. And two weeks ago, Senegal became the first Muslim country to prohibit all facial concealment for security reasons. Since the niqab and burka are pre-Islamic traditions not endorsed by the Holy Qur’an, we must denounce this archaic tribal rag. It has nothing to do with Islam but has become fashionable in Muslim society, including here in South Africa because of Wahhabi-Salafi indoctrination. So, the news that this non-Qur’anic custom is now facing legal prohibition in many parts of the world must be welcomed. If women cannot wear face masks while performing salah or during the hajj in Makkah, why is it Islamic to do so here? All thinking Muslims must reject this vile patriarchal Saudi habit of controlling women and making them invisible in public. It is an utterly demented perversion of the Holy Qur’an.
The final item today is a good news story from America. Following the horrendous ISIS massacres in Paris last month, a string of anti-Muslim incidents have been reported in Europe and North America. But at least one little boy in Texas knows that the murderous attackers in France are not representative the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims. When 7-year-old Jack Swanson of Pflugerville, Texas, found out that a local mosque had been desecrated and damaged, he emptied all his saving money from his little piggy bank and donated it to the Muslim congregation. Faisal Naeem, a board member at the defaced Islamic Center of Pflugerville was very moved by the gesture. “It is only 20 dollars, but coming from Jack collecting all his pennies, it is worth 20 million dollars to me and to our community. It gives us hope because this means it is not Muslim versus non-Muslims.” However, this was not the end of the story. The little boy was rewarded when news of his $20 gift went viral on social media and the internet. Muslim human rights lawyer Arsalan Iftikhar was so impressed by little Jack’s selfless initiative that he mailed him a brand new iPad that Jack had been hoping to buy with his own savings. “Because of your amazing generosity and kind heart, please enjoy this Apple iPad with our sincere thanks :-). Love The American Muslim Community,” a note with the package said. The lawyer said that he sent the gift as an expression of his deep appreciation of Jack’s altruism. ‘‘When I heard the news about Jack donating $20 from his savings bank to help the vandalized mosque, it literally brought tears to my eyes as he was saving his pennies for an iPad before deciding to do something far more important with his money”. So, here we have a profoundly inspirational story about this selfless act of a young boy who does not discriminate against different religions. And in response, we have a truly magnificent Muslim response that not only justly rewarded a small boy for his amazing generosity but also sends a potent message of real hope and true reconciliation to both Muslims and non-Muslims not only in the United States but also elsewhere in the world. What a fantastic news story!
In conclusion, let us ask Almighty God that as Muslims always remain true to the Islamic teachings of truth, justice and compassion. And in this vein, let us turn our thoughts and prayers to all Muslims and non-Muslims who are in ill in hospitals and clinics. Let us remember those who are in prisons and most particularly all those who are detained without just cause, be they in Guantanomo Bay, asylum seekers, or prisoners of conscious the world over. Let us also pray for everyone who is afflicted and in crisis, and those who are in trouble and difficulty. Let us show true solidarity with all those who pursue fairness, tolerance, peace and goodwill. As Muslims we all have a duty to support and encourage those who work towards making this world a better and peaceful place for all.
Let us also send our prayers and support to the global Muslim community, especially those who are brutally oppressed in occupied Palestine and in occupied Kashmir. And do not forget our subjugated Muslim brothers and sisters everywhere be they in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Mindanao, Chechnya, Burma, Thailand, China or the Central African Republic. But let us also pray for African Muslims in Dar Fur who are persecuted by fellow Arab Muslims in the Sudan. May God Almighty help us to bring an end to senseless violence there and elsewhere. Inshallah.
Now, let us raise our hands together in prayer and supplication:
- OUR LORD, GRANT US WISDOM AND PERSEVERANCE IN PURSUING ALL
RIGHTEOUS ACTS AND MERITORIOUS DEEDS THAT BENEFITS EVERYONE
- O GOD ALMIGHTY, ALWAYS GUIDE US TO DO GOOD, TO PROMOTE LOVE,
JUSTICE AND PEACE AND TO AVOID WRONG-DOING AND PERVERSITY
- OUR CREATOR, WE ASK YOU TO PROTECT US FROM ALL HARM AND EVIL
- O LORD, FORGIVE OUR FAILINGS AND FOSTER FRIENDSHIP AMONGST ALL
- O BENIGN GOD, DO ACCEPT AND INTENSIFY OUR WORSHIP AND CHARITY
- O SUSTAINER OF THE UNIVERSE, STRENGTHEN OUR RESISTANCE TO ALL
SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION, ECONOMIC EXPOLITATION, RACIAL BIGOTRY
AND GENDER DISPARITY
- O ALMIGHTY ALLAH, GIVE US THE STRENGTH AND COURAGE TO PURSUE
VIRTUE AND GOODNESS AND TO PREVENT INJUSTICE AND IMMORALITY
- O CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH DIRECT US TO BRING
HARMONY, STABILITY AND SOLIDARITY TO THIS FRACTURED WORLD
- O LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, HELP US TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE YOUR
PRECIOUS PLANET AND LET US NOT POLLUTE THE ENVIRONMENT
- O SUSTAINER OF THE COSMOS, WE SEEK YOUR ALL-EMBRACING MERCY
AND YOUR LIMITLESS COMPASSION TO BECOME RIGHTEOUS BELIEVERS
- GUIDE US ALMIGHTY AS WE SEEK TO ATTAIN CLOSENESS TO YOU. Amin
Let us also recall that great invocation and inspirational prayer that the Apostle of Allah said often and repeatedly: O MY LORD, I SEEK REFUGE IN YOU FROM ALL SELFISHNESS, HYPOCRISY AND UNRIGHTEOUS CONDUCT
In Surah Baqqarah Chapter 2:201 we read:
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ٢٠١
WA MIN HUM MAN YAQUL RABBANA ATINA FID DUNYA HASSANATAN WA FIL AKHIRATI WAQINA AZDHABAN NAR
AND FROM THEM ARE THOSE WHO SAY: OUR LORD GIVE US GOOD IN THIS WORLD AND GOOD IN THE HEREAFTER AND PROTECT US FROM THE FIRE
IN SURAH AL-NAHL, Chapter 16:90: WE READ:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ٩٠
SURELY GOD COMMANDS JUSTICE, THE DOING OF GOOD, AND GIVING TO KITH AND KIN, AND HE FORBIDS INDECENCY, EVIL AND REBELLION. HE INSTRUCTS YOU SO THAT YOU MAY BE MINDFUL
INNAL LAH YAMURU BIL ADL WAL IHSAN WA EEYTA THIL KURBA WA YANHA ANIL FAHSHAH WAL MUNKAR WAL BAHY YA AZUKUM LALAKUM TAZAKARUN