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To say the truth- we have been making up for lost time; the wars that have been raging in our lands, particularly in Iraq, are meant to undo our resolve. In the past couple of years, with the knowledge and access that has been given to us, we have been trying to diffuse, (in the grain of it), these attempts at having Muslims going at themselves in these types of wars. This type of coverage should have been done by us- not the individual, but we the Muslims- along time ago. Why should we wait until wars come our way before we begin take a more closer, calculated and sincere look at ourselves. This is who we are and something has to begin sometime and somewhere. We don’t know if we are loners or contributors in this direction- the knowledge of that is left up to Allah in the coming years and generations to have the final word. Allah says
Coming to us from Allah is a matter of light and enlightenment (Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 15)
(If) Muslims who do not sense this absence, obscurity, darkness and ignorance then there’s not much that has come to them from Allah. Remember, (brothers and sisters), we are speaking as Muslims are dying; it’s just a matter of geography that we ourselves are not dying, (so to speak). Besides the issue that we have been looking at in the past couple of years- which is an internal Islamic affair, we have the intra Islamic affairs. These intra-Islamic affairs show up quite frequently- you will encounter them at a Masjid, Convention, congregation, Jum’ah (or) Jama’ah prayer and study groups when there’s no necessity for this. We will give you some examples of what we are speaking about.

In the Qur’an, Allah says

If any human being dies, then the compensatory punishment for that is the death of the murderer or the person who caused that death (Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 45)

But then, (for those who have established the authenticity of the hadith), there’s a hadith of the Prophet that says a father cannot be killed or executed or executed because of him being the cause of his sons death- meaning, (may Allah forbid), but in the rare conditions of the world, when a father with his full will causes the death of his son, then you cannot take the fathers life. We have an ayah that says
A living being is to stand the punishment of death when he causes the death of another human being (Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 45)
That’s an ayah- we all submit to the meaning of the ayah. All Muslims, all the times- have submitted to the meanings of the ayaat of Allah in His Holy Book, but then when we come across a hadith that says in a particular condition, (a relationship between father and son), and the father is the cause of the death of his son in a pre-meditated way, then there’s an exemption. So what do we do? Do we begin to fight among ourselves? Do we begin to argue? Why do some Muslims have this offensive attitude of beginning to argue with other Muslims when all of them submit to the meanings of the Holy Book and the Holy Prophet when stated authentically? Why do we have this attitude? We know that on the occasion of Bani Quraida, when all the Muslims in the presence of the Prophet heard him say no one should pray Al Asr except when they reach Bani Quraida. We know that some of them prayed Al Asr on the way to Bani Quraida and the others prayed when they reached Bani Quraida. We know that both these behaviors had their understanding and interpretation in what the Prophet said and we know that when this dual opinion or these two different interpretations were expressed to the Prophet when it was all said and done he didn’t say one Islamic side is correct and the other side is wrong. We didn’t notice that some of these Muslims showed an attitude vis-à-vis the other Muslims when they disagreed in the way that they understood Allah’s Prophet even though both of them behaved in a way that was obedient to Allah and His Prophet! They didn’t behave in a way that harmed, offended or touched on a nerve of the other Muslim that did not see it their way. This is the area and the point that many Muslims cannot understand in a behavioral way- it’s not enough just to understand this, you also have to behave it and we don’t show that exemplary behavior!

Then, those of us who are involved in reading, researching or reviewing these types of matters know that there is a particular school of thought that says Az-Zakaat is due from grains. That would include wheat, barley, millet, soy, lentils, and whatever other type of grain there is but they don’t say that Zakaat is due when it comes to fruit and vegetables. What are you going to do with these types? Are you going to show a superiority attitude towards them or are they going to show a superiority attitude towards those who disagree that Zakaat is only due when it comes to agricultural produce on grains? Let us take a closer look at this and let us be more specific because some of you simply don’t know what we’re talking about in this general sense- we’re sorry that we have to go to this extent to detailing this matter, but this is where we are in today’s world- Abu Hanifah said that if this hadith that pertains to grains is understood exclusively to be applied to this form of produce then it would be an inequality to exempt other farmers who produce other types of agricultural plants and greens. We understand Islam to be a matter of equality and justice… Let’s say an acre of Zakaat (for grain) is going to be $50 and the acre of Zakaat of the other person who produces fruit and vegetables is going to be $500. In effect, Abu Hanifah is saying why are we to limit the income of the needy Muslims because we have not the analogy ability to extend the meaning of the hadith to include all farmers and whatever they produce?! We have some Muslims who can’t understand this and we’re stuck with these types of Muslims who are incapable of understanding the spirit of the hadith. What are we going to do? Are we going to show them a behavior that Allah’s Prophet and the 1st generation of Muslims didn’t show?! Where did this come from? Does it belong among us? It’s another one of these contributing factors that is being fueled by the enemies of today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Another matter that may seem trivial but in some places is a matter of division is the Salaat Al Jum’ah (when) the Imam is giving the khutbah and someone enters the Masjid- should they pray two rak’aat or not? This has become a divisive matter. Ash Shafee’ and ibn Hanbal say you pray two rak’aat even though the Imam is delivering the khutbah Abu Hanifah and Malik say no you don’t; you listen to the Imam when the khutbah is being delivered from the Mimbar. Why does an issue like this begin to divide the Muslims? As a main answer to this question- it begins to divide the Muslims because Muslims have not liberated their minds to the larger issues of the world so they become encapsulated in these minor issues of what is called in the fiqhi books Sha’aair and Ibaadaat! Who cares?! If a Muslim is expressing his conscience and heart, why is another Muslim more concerned with this person than this person is concerned with his ownself?! That degree of liberation and liberty we still have not assumed!

We have another example of a historical issue- when the Muslims were out expanding their reach into the societies of the world there is an issue called Al Khums in the Qur’an or At Takhmees as it is called by some fuqaha’. There’s new lands that are being opened and liberated- the ayah says
So you give one fifth of this war effort to Allah… (Surah Al Anfal verse 41)
During the time of the successor to Allah’s Prophet, he said that this fifth is applied to weapons, the food source and their hardware i.e. whatever was used as a matter of warfare against the Muslims. Other Muslims disagreed with him- they said it also applies to the lands; and one-fifth of the lands should also be distributed among the Muslim warriors that are on the front. Imagine if that would have happened?! We would have had a class of landlords in Islam at the beginning of Islamic history! Not that it didn’t come into being a generation after that, nut it would have been earlier had it not been for this type of ijtihad that we should honor and appreciate instead of trying to score points without understanding the rationale behind it which is taken from the spirit of the Qur’an and the Prophet- this is where most of us are lost.

Then, some Muslims get involved in these philosophical- abstract- hypothetical arguments (regarding) the ayah in the Qur’an says
And Allah spoke to Musa in a conversational manner (Surah An Nisa’ verse 164)
Then they come and ask you what does this ayah mean? Does it mean Allah expressed words the same way we are expressing words? Then they get involved in an argument about this and it doesn’t stop with an argument that honors the logical and courteous elements of an argument; it goes on to generate bad feelings. The same thing with the ayah that says
And Allah designated Ibrahim as a bosom or intimate friend (Surah An Nisa’ verse 125)
They will tell you “how can this be? Allah as a deity-divinity- God become intimately involved with Ibrahim?!” Then they generate arguments about this that don’t seem to want to capture the essence of the meaning as much as much as they want to capture an argumentative higher ground vis-à-vis the other opinion. Once again, where did this attitude come from? It doesn’t belong among us!
O People- evidence has come to you from your Sustainer and we have made accessible to you an obvious light (Surah An Nisa’ verse 174)
We want to ask these types of people who try to score these types of divisive fiqhi points “where is this nur or light in their hearts or minds when they express themselves. Take a moment and watch these individuals, (who are to be encountered almost everywhere), and as you watch them try to ascertain what type of insight or enlightenment are they trying to pervade! What are we going to do- pick on the body of fiqh?! Another example is when we say
If any human being dies, then the compensatory punishment for that is the death of the murderer or the person who caused that death (Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 45)
Is this ayah in the Qur’an also applicable to a non-Muslim if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim or takes his or her life? Are they responsible for that death? Here, we also encounter different legitimate Islamic opinions. Why are these legitimate Islamic opinions a matter of dividing the Muslims we ask? This division doesn’t come from thorough understanding of Allah and His Prophet as much as it comes by trying to possess and own the meanings in the book of Allah and from the mouth of the Prophet. This is the problem- when individuals who may be scholars or novices, (whoever they may be), try to possess the meanings, that’s when we encounter the problem.

One of the companions who was living during the lifetime of the Prophet had to perform al ghusl to pray. You know what that means- when a Muslim has to perform a full bath to pray? He didn’t; it was early in the morning and it was very cold and he thought if he’s going to perform this ghusl he’s going to die because of it. He led the prayers and then this incident was related to Allah’s Prophet. What did he tell this person? He asked this person why did you do that? This person quoted an ayah from the Qur’an and said
Don’t kill yourselves (Surah An Nisa’ verse 29)
Did the Prophet say you misunderstood the ayah or this ayah doesn’t mean what you think it means? NO! He just heard him and he left it at that- which means what? This means that you, (the Muslim), who if you are thinking, you have the latitude to understand what Allah is saying. What Allah is saying is not a monopoly of an individual, a class of individuals or a religious class of people; it is meant for you, (the thinking human being). All of these examples come to us courtesy of Allah’s Prophet’s life-time and even with this we show division; imagine if we didn’t have these types of lessons?!

During the time of Allah’s Prophet, a person committed adultery. What’s the punishment for adultery in his case? 100 lashes. Some people came to the Prophet of Allah and said this person cannot tolerate 100 lashes- meaning if we are going to strike him 100 times, in all likelihood this person is going to die- so what do you do in a case like this? The Prophet of Allah told them you bring 100 strands of 100 whips and you strike him once. Does this mean that Allah’s Prophet wanted us to escape the penalty? No. We have a human intellect that can understand what is meant by this; we can understand the conditions and apply them. If this is applied in a particular exception to the case why should people feel offended or feel that they are lesser Muslims? If we can understand these issues in their context we can understand how Allah wants us to behave towards Him, His Prophet and towards ourselves.

Maybe some of you are not familiar with them, but we have people who come and say that the Prophet’s hadiths take precedence over the ayaat of the Qur’an. In affect, (they are saying that) a hadith can be in a position of naasikh and the ayah can be in a position of mansukh. Unfortunately- brothers and sisters- these types of people have a kingdom of money behind them and the problem is no longer one of a common understanding that Muslims should reach among themselves; the problem becomes a matter of trying to bring these types of individuals into the light of Allah’s guidance to us. We should know that one of the stipulations of the treaty of Al Hudaibiyah is that if there were going to be Muslims abandoning Makkah, Quraish and Al Mushrikeen and joining the Prophet, Al Medinah and the Islamic State then they should be returned to Makkah- this is the Prophet’s Sunnah; this is what he signed to, (so to speak), but the ayah in the Qur’an says that
Women come to you seeking asylum then you accommodate them (Surah Al Mumtahanah verse 10)
If we can present this type of understanding to these types of people and just solicit their feedback on this. Brothers and sisters- we have a population of around 2billion Muslims. This is looking at the hard facts of life- in this population of around 2billion Muslims, we have four predominant schools of thought, (Al Hanafees, Al Shaafi’ees, Al Maalikees and Al Hanbalees)- if we are looking at numbers, these constitute the largest blocks of these 2billion Muslims. At a certain level, that says something, (we’re not trying to go into the history of this), the geography of Al Maalikees is Central, North and Western Africa; the geography of Ash Shaafi’ees is South and South East Asia; the geography of Al Hanafees is Central Asia, Turkey and the Indian Sub-continent; and then we have, unfortunately, the people who belong to the mind-set that we are speaking about who say that they are “Hanbalees” and who if we wanted to count them, (once again, we’re not looking at numbers but if we wanted to count them, but at a certain level this says something) they are probably less than half percent of the Muslims, but it’s not the numbers that is creating this division among the Muslims, it’s the financial power that they have. If it wasn’t for the finances that they have, we wouldn’t have seen these types of attitudes that co-mingle in the Muslim public and bring this “holier-than- thou” and screaming attitudes in the hearts of otherwise decent and Allah-loving Muslims. It’s the financial power and it takes a word of advice and truth to try to bring them into the core of the meanings of the Qur’an and the Prophet.

Brothers and sisters; committed Muslims on As Siraat Al Mustaqeem…
We are probably living a time like no other time when our relationships are strained; there are people who because they get signals from higher authorities preach a superficial or artificial form of Islamic togetherness. Left to their own consciences and without these gestures and gesticulations from these types of superiors they don’t have the energy and octane to pursue an Islamic consolidation when we need it the most. Beware of these phony speakers who because they get instructions from Embassies or officials who are tied into larger interests and bigger policies they come around when the atmosphere is conducive to say fancy words about the unity of Muslims. The unity of Muslims can be proven- in fact- (take a) look at these people who peddle this type of division among Muslims, (number one), and then it goes on with some individuals to become hatred towards other Muslims. We all have a history of political accommodation, political opposition and political passivism- this is all in our collective character. What do we say to each other when we have, (the fact of the matter is, although some people don’t want to say it, the fact of the matter is), some Muslims, (they consider themselves Muslims (but) whether they are or not is a matter that Allah will judge on the day of final judgment), but we have these Muslims who are Isma’ilis, Duris, Nisairis, Aga Khanis, in whatever sense that is- but this is not the issue; the issue is how did our general being give opportunity for these types to be who they are and then continue to exist as they are?! There’s a type of official and popular- this is where it hurts the most, (i.e.) when the official and popular meet and try to make believe that these types of people don’t exist! Well- these are the types of people, (if we wanted to refresh our history a little), who took Al Hajr Al Aswad from the Ka’bah and for around 20 years Makkah, Al Ka’bah and Al Haram didn’t have a Black Stone. This is a serious incident that we, (ourselves), are responsible for, one way or the other. How come it doesn’t figure in to today’s average thinking of a normal Muslim? Why? There’s something going on here! Why are people incapable of shedding Qur’anic and Prophetic light on this type of issue? There’s something going on in the Muslim midst! Not only has it been continuing for generations, it’s become almost institutionalized. It’s considered almost normal not to consider the other Muslim, because he doesn’t fall into the category of Muslims that I belong to. If you are a Muslim, you belong to all of these Muslims regardless of who they are. When something goes wrong something has to be done about it; what are we doing about it; or are we letting these regimes who want to control our fate and future get away with it?

What happens in Gaza? This is a live issue; we have been speaking about minor issues that contribute to the live issues of today, that’s what they want us to do- they want us to consume all our time so that we are not able to open up our eyes to the life and death issues of today. One-and-a-half- million Muslims are bottled up in Gaza and then they are put at the survival level of life- thirst, hunger, deprivation- as if we are poor people and we can’t afford to offer our brother Muslims who are in need! This is an example- there are many other examples- we are not able to offer them what they need for their survival?! They want us to continue in these Masajid, Jum’ahs, congregations and conferences that we have to spring up these issues of division and neglect these issues of life-and-death today. Where did this come from? We are not poor- some figures say there’s $3trillion here, just from the Arabian Peninsula political configurations, (i.e. Kingdoms, Emirates and whatever they want to call themselves)! They have $3 trillion here and we have millions-and- millions of Muslims literally going under or dying because they can’t support themselves!? How does this figure into whatever school-of-thought or Islamic persuasion you consider yourself to be from?! How do you square this?! How does this work if we are all supposed to be bond to each other?! Muslim women from Iraq (are) going to Syria to sell their bodies- that’s what they’re doing (because) they have to survive! How do they survive? Then, you might have these literalists Muslims who don’t consider any of the conditions come and tell you “she’s a prostitute- kill her!” She has to be condemned, (first of all), by the war that’s imposed on her and then this; as if she’s doing this out of choice or this is what she wants to do; these are conditions; we left a gap in the Muslim public (that is) so wide that conditions or war are imposed with us being incapable of thinking about this with a Qur’anic mind and a Sunnatic analysis! We are incapable of dealing with this war so they impose it on us and then the results of this war begin to take shape and we see it in Muslim women selling their bodies in another Muslim territory! No one wants to speak to these issues! Why? Because they don’t fit into the marginal thoughts that they have and that we are suffering from today.

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