25 YEARS OF JUM'AH IN THE STREET
Allah says- these are the last ayaat in Surat Al Jum'ah and these ayaat were obviously sent to Allah's Prophet and to the rest of the Muslims after the Prophet had gone to Al Medinah. These ayaat carry the following meanings
O You who are secure in your commitment, if the call for As Salaah goes out on Friday, then move forward to the consciousness of Allah and part with any market activity; that is best for you if you were in a state of knowledge. And then, when As Salaah is over take your course or spread yourselves throughout the land and seek of Allah's provision and remain in a state of intensified consciousness of Allah so that you may be prosperous. And if they see a commercial activity or entertainment they flock to it and they leave you (O Prophet) standing; say what Allah has is better than entertainment and commercial activity and Allah is the best of providers. (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 9-11)
Obviously, these ayaat define what it means to be here on Friday every week. It is classified by all the scholars of Islam that attending Jum'ah prayers is a wajib. The 1st Jum'ah prayer was in the 1st week of the Prophet's arrival in Al Medinah. Al Jum'ah, unlike the other salawaat or prayers is a prayer of jama'ah- if there's no jama'ah there's no juma'h (but) you can pray Adh Dhuhr or Al Fajr it there's no jama'ah. A little detail is "what constitutes a jama'ah?" Linguistically speaking, and as adopted by some Islamic schools of thought, a jama'ah is three persons or more; that's a plurality. According to more interpretations and better judgments there has to be at least 12 people to constitute a jama'ah; and still/yet, there is another point of view that says a jama'ah is a jama'ah when you have 40 or more individuals. We care not to split hair here by trying to give weight to one opinion against other opinions- that doesn't concern us. Allah in these ayaat has made it obligatory on Muslims who are able bodied, in full control of their conscience and minds and who have reached the age of responsibility to attend this Jum'ah every week, per this ayah.
The latter half of this ayah says
... and quit your commercial activity or transaction... (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 9)
Why is it that Allah is not speaking about other activities in life? The simple common sense response to that is it is the financial, commercial, trade and market activities and everything related to this that would sway a person away from responding to Allah when He orders us to attend this Jum'ah.
... that is best for you if you were in the know of these things. (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 9)
And then, once As Salaah is over you disperse throughout the land... (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 10)
You can go back to what you were doing- if you were trading, you can go back to your trade; if you were studying, you can go back to your study; whatever you were doing, you can go back and resume with whatever you were doing.
... and whatever you resume doing, you do so asking for Allah's provision... (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 10)
You don't cut-loose from Al Jum'ah and then make believe that you are in another atmosphere- NO! You take with you the character and the meanings of this Jum'ah and you pursue the activity that you are pursuing with that on your mind.
... and be highly conscious or exceptionally alert of Allah so that you may become successful.(Surah Al Jum'ah verse 10)
And if they notice a financial or commercial activity or even entertainment they leave you (O Prophet) standing; say to them what Allah has is better than entertainment and commercial and market activities and Allah is the best to provide sustenance if that's what you care for and if that's what's on your mind. (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 11)
(This is) provided this sustenance is made possible by the collective and brotherly cohesion of the Muslims who are committed to Allah; it's not made possible when everyone is living in their world on their own- detached, unconcerned and unrelated to the other Muslim and what they are doing. This final ayah
And if they visualize that there is some type of market activity going on or even entertainment, (such as some type of wedding in the making), they will leave you... (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 11)
Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims- on the authority of Al Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed and At Tirmidhi, all of them narrate concerning this particular ayah, that when the Prophet of Allah at one time was giving the khutbah on Friday, there was a caravan of goods that had arrived in town at that time i.e. when the Prophet was giving his khutbah. The Muslims, hearing the approach of this caravan that is loaded with goods, merchandise and the commercial goodies that human beings flock to- while the Prophet was delivering his khutbah, these Muslims walked out on him. It is also said that there was some preparation for a good time, (maybe someone was getting married). Then, to further inform us on this, these narrators of this hadith pertaining to this ayah tell us that only 12 men remained in the Masjid with Allah's Prophet. Unfortunately, they don't tell us who these 12 men were! One source of information just says that included included among these 12 men were Abu Bair and Umar (radi Allahu anhum)- that's the furthest we could go on obtaining information on who these 12 individuals were who stayed with the Prophet while he was expressing his ideas from the mimbar on Friday in the khutbah which constitutes part of salaat al jum'ah. If the information is accurate and correct, this presents us with some challenging concerns. The 1st one is the freedom that was given to Muslims. No-one came to them- there was no religious police or any type of government that was telling the Muslim "as there was a khutbah being delivered from the Mimbar, you can't leave the Masjid; where re you going." Not only that, this wasn't only one or a few individuals leaving the Masjid, it appears that this was the majority of the Muslims leaving the Masjid. Still, with the majority of Muslims leaving the Masjid there was no religious police (such as we have today in the same are and city). There is this religious police; imagine if there is a person leaving the Masjid and let's say four-fifths if not mime- tenths of them left. In this case, that's exactly what happened; it wasn't one of these mediocre speakers virtually expressing nothing from the Manabir like we have today from our Masjaid today-this was the Prophet of Allah himself expressing himself from the mimbar and then we had the majority of people leaving. Another addendum to this is information or an extra sentence that said in addition to the 12 men who stayed listening to Allah's Prophet there was also 7 women who stayed listening to Allah's Prophet which evokes another concern; i.e. that women were inside the Masjid listening to the khutbah on Friday. We don't know this area, but some or many of them may have left during this time; but some of them, according to this hadith from these reliable sources remained in the Masjid.
We don't know of any physical or monetary penalty that was imposed on these Muslims who deserted the Prophet during the khutbah and they come and tell you "Islam is a religion that has no freedom in it!" Well- maybe we can say that the official and misinformed understanding of Islam that exists in Arabia today has no freedom pertaining to what they do but (if) you take us to the sources- the book of Allah and the Prophet of Allah- and then tell us we have no freedom and we will understand that they are lying! What we have 14 centuries after the disclosure of these ayaat and the developments that took place in Al Medinah is practically those 12 people, (in our case here- in Washington DC), who are not distracted by the commercialism that not only attracts the Muslims when they leave the Masjid, but a commercialism that has so much of influence that it, (itself), appoints the administrations and individuals that run these Masajid. That was a different time- the world at different times and places the world has it's allurement, (there's no doubt about that; during, ever since the time of the Prophet, in our very time now and in the future), but in the time of the Prophet the market was not running the Masjid! Now, we have these forces that have isolated the individuals that remain with Allah's Prophet. Brothers and sisters- committed Muslims- what do we see today in reference to this ayah? (Take a) look around you- the world is inviting your attention, the behavior of man begs your thinking- what do you have? You have people who consider this jum'ah prayer a tradition. This, (what we have today), is not a jum'ah prayer in the mould and fold of Allah's Prophet! This is a jum'ah prayer that brings to it those who were just born into Muslim families, were fed some Islamic traditions and they live within what they consider to be an Islamic culture therefore they find themselves going to the Masjid on Friday. What do they do in the Masjid on Friday? Do they listen to a khutbah that is extracted from the teachings of Allah's Prophet?! Here's another observation- since the time Allah's Prophet arrived in Al Medinah and the time he left Al Medinah to Al Mala' Al A'la, i.e. heavenly company, (which in agreement of all Muslims is around 10 years)- every year has around 50 jum'ahs in it; so we have over 500 khutbahs that the Prophet gave on Fridays. We ask you- brothers and sisters, committed Muslims- where are these 500 khutbahs? What happened? Why don't we have a record of what he said during this time on Friday? Go to the books of Islamic sources of information that you rely upon and the best you can do is come up with 10 and 15 khutbahs and you're very lucky if you can dig that many out! Whatever happened to the other, (close to), 500 khutbahs that he gave? This is how we began to suffer from the re-possession of this Islam from inside the Masajid early on (and) until this day and we still have Muslims who are moved by their customs and conventions to spend (and many times- to waste), an hour or two on Fridays in these Masajid Ad Diraar Kufr Tafreeq bayna al Mu'mineen and irsaad li man haarab Allah wa Rasuluhu min qabl!
... Masjid of harm, kufr, to divide the Muslims and an outpost, watch-tower or center to be used for monitoring by those who were at war with Allah and His Messenger before (Surah At Taubah verse 106)
Do we have the spirit of the Prophet of Allah that dwells in our hearts and bosoms on this day and time or is it just a matter of "my commercial activity and commitments that have given me my conventions and traditions that I have" (so) that I either show up on Friday or I find an excuse not to show up on Fridays?! On the other side, we also have a religious argument for not coming to Jum'ah. That's a cop out! Allah's ayah is clear-
If the call for Al Jum'ah goes out on Friday, then you make that effort and movement for the massive consciousness of Allah. (Surah Al Jum'ah verse 9)
Your absence from this activity and Friday salaah every week is contributing to those who have taken over this institution and they have a lock-hand over it- they can say and get away with what they want as we have witnessed them doing here for the past 25 years.
Brothers and sisters, Muslims on As Siraat Al Mustaqeem...
This week, (a couple of days ago), those of you who have been coming here consistently have been coming here for over 25 years. During this time period we have seen some people come and go, we have heard some excuses and some less than coherent ideas about what it means to attend jum'ah prayers here. Some of the voices and the ideas that we heard say that "times have changed." They may be correct- times have changed, but it hasn't changed the way they think it has changed. We don't know and they don't bother to explain exactly what they mean by "times have changed." What has changed? Could they be gracious enough to tell us what has changed? Did these powers that are inimical to Allah and his Prophet viz. the Saudi occupiers of Allah's Holy Lands and Holy Masajid change? Did their patrons and sponsors viz. the imperialists and zionists that are lurking behind this issue changed? Nothing has changed except them! It is these same people who are saying "times have changed" who have changed!
They played tricks on us. In these building behind us they had FBI agents. We welcome every type of agent in the world to come here on Friday and hear what we have to say. We have been and remain an open book; we have nothing to hide; we express our mind and conscience in public. They had a camera across the street in one of the air conditioning units. The FBI agent who was in this building behind us committed suicide and we never knew why; that air conditioning unit that concealed a camera in it is gone- we can't see it. You know (that) the society we live in is a society of racist- they placed a person inside the Masjid whose features appeal to a certain race so that they can have an "attraction" to get people to go and pray inside this Masjid. They've probably done much more than we know and the only thing we are doing is coming here on Friday as Allah tells us to do and because they bar us from entering the House of Allah we pray here in the street and some Muslims feel offended. "Oh- how can I pray in the street"; - that's the least we can do. What offends a Muslim from obeying Allah in public? Why? Are you ashamed of who you are?! Are we doing something wrong? Are we breaking any scriptural or secular laws by praying here? Tell us! Why do hear these words coming to us from 3rd and 5th parties? Why can't these people who are less than what they are supposed to be come and express themselves face-to-face and say what's on their mind? What are we supposed to do? Play dead? We don't exist? You, (the Muslims who come here every Friday in the street ), can also do that- we honor the freedom that Allah and His Prophet honored. There's not one of you here who is forced to come here on Fridays. If you all go, there is no Jum'ah, there will be no khutbah and there will be no-one manifesting a Jum'ah prayer here on Friday if you wish to walk away. Whatever the quorum for al Jum'ah is- whether it is 3 as some fuqaha' say or 12 as other fuqaha' say or whether it is 40 as yet other fuqaha' say- if that quorum is not met there will be no jum'ah prayer. This is not an individuals jum'ah prayer- we were not individuals inside the Masjid and we are not individuals outside the Masjid; wherever we are, we are Allah's- that's what everyone should understand, especially those who are feint hearted and can't see themselves taking a stand for Allah- it's the least they can do.
These people who try to sing the songs of liberty and freedom- (take a) look at your liberty and freedom here, in Washington DC, when for 25 years you have been telling Muslims "you cannot enter this Masjid." Compare that freedom with the freedom we have coming from Allah and His Prophet yet still we have some broken spirited Muslims who claim that there's more freedom in America than there is in Islam. They're mot comparing this America with Islam. They are comparing it with the Saudi demonstration of whatever they think Islam to be- and they may have a point on that, but we can't confuse what the Saudis say with what Islam is. Some of the individuals who were here 25 years ago have made up with the Saudis; they hub knob with them; they are buddies- what do we do? (Is) Islam a matter of changing times? Some of these Muslims also claim that they honor Al Imam Al Husein (alaihi salaam)- if they were living in his time, they'd go up to him and tell him "times have changed; we understand more about this world than you do". This is where their tradition and culture diverges from the principles and foundations of Islam, the Qur'an, the Prophet and the Imams.
Audio on http://www.islamiccenterdc.com/khutbassermons.htm (07-03-2008)
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