Khutba on Doctrine of Human Rights
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل صحةَ الإنسان وحياةَ المجتمعِ في إصلاح المعاملة، وحفِظها في المدينة المنورة، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
In the wake of the khutba I gave two weeks ago on the modern doctrine of tolerance that has infected all too many of our scholars today, a young man approached me and put forward the notion that Islam came to abolish slavery. Now this presupposes two things - one that slavery is inherently wrong and unjust, and two that modern perceptions of what is right or wrong supercede the realities of the practice of the Messenger of Allah and his noble Companions, for as we will see, they continued to practice slavery after his death. In essence, it demonstrates an unspoken belief that Islam must be made to conform with the morals and values of the age. and any part of it that does not conform must either be discarded through the outright abandonment of the Sunna by denying its authenticity, or reformed through a selective application of the science of maqasid ash-shari’a (a science that was developed to help preserve the boundaries of the deen not move or redefine them), or redesignated as a cultural practice specific to a particular time or age. Or re-interpreted in the light of the enlightened modern understanding of the rights of the human being. Have we not been given ‘aql/ intellects and been commanded to use them?
Firstly, a healthy intellect, an intellect that works, is one which is able to distinguish what is necessary from what is impossible, and as a result see the hand of Allah in everything that is around him. And through its recognition of its Lord, it recognises His Messengers and Books, and follows the Commands that come through them from the One who clearly knows what is best for them. A healthy intellect is one that places what the All-Knowing, who never wrongs anyone, wants and commands over what those who are ignorant and whose nature it is to wrong others want and command. Allah says,
وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا
the translation of which is, “But man took it on. He is indeed wrongdoing and ignorant.” The human being when left to his own devices does not know what is in his own best interests - he is ignorant. It is only when he is given knowledge from the One who does know that he is able to function properly and interact properly with his fellows and the rest of creation. But when he turns aside from that knowledge and denies it, and instead turns back to his own self and his own ideas, he once again embraces ignorance and wrongdoing - in other words, what brings harm, not benefit, to himself and others. This is the fallacy of human rights, a doctrine drawn up by men from societies that turned away from Allah and replaced Him with man-made ideologies.
And yet we find thousands of articles from Muslim thinkers defending Islam against human rights and showing Islam to be in line with many of its articles, as if this doctrine was the yardstick against which all human endeavours should be measured. In essence, they are placing these ideas about human rights above Islam, which is what has led some of them to make claims that totally contradict the reality on the ground as practiced by the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, and reject large sections of the Sunna on the basis that although they were culturally acceptable in the time of the Prophet, they are culturally repugnant today. Thus, the Sunna in their eyes only applied to those who lived in the time of the Messenger of Allah. Such people totally disregard the Quranic command to follow and obey the Messenger and take what he gives us. Allah says,
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولُ اللهِ إِسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللهَ وَاليَوْمَ الآخِرَ
the translation of which is, “You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day.”
But they do not take him as their iswa - their example to be followed - in all matters, but instead only take some of what he brought and discard the rest. Nearly all his mu’amalat are left by the wayside - his way of trading, his way of governing, his way of dealing with criminals and so on.
How has this come about - how have these so-called Muslim thinkers been so easily fooled? These thinkers - I refuse to use the word ulema since it is disrespectful to the term, indeed I even hesitate to use thinkers as their conclusions are more the result of a lack of healthy thought and reflection - these thinkers, men such as Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, Muhammad Abduh and many others, were confronted with a world where the Caliphate was no more and the Muslims had been defeated, colonised and overrun by their enemies and they were forced to ask themselves why?
Unfortunately for them and the millions of Muslims who followed them, they approached the question from completely the wrong direction - for they based their analysis on the premise that the West was somehow ahead of the Muslims and that the Muslims had fallen behind. And that in order to catch up, Islam had to modernise, reform and adapt to the times. And how better to reform than to emulate those who had already achieved financial and military success, and take on their system, keeping all that was compatible with Islam and discarding the rest. But this approach was premised upon a number of false assumptions - first that the Western system was inherently better than the one found in the Muslim lands, second that success is due to system and not Allah, and third that there was any part of that system that was compatible with Islam. For the fact of the matter is that millat al-kufr and millat al-Islam have nothing whatsoever in common - the one is based on humanism - the belief that human beings are the arbiters and masters of their own destiny, while the other is based on tawhid - submission to Allah and accepting that our destiny is totally in His hands. The one puts legislation in the hands of ignorant and short-sighted men while the other takes it solely from the One who Sees and Hears everything and possesses complete and total knowledge of our affair and the world we live in. The one is a total denial of the other and vice-versa, so to think that the adoption and Islamicisation of any part of the kafir system is possible is total madness.
Let us analyse in greater detail the central tenet of capitalist kafir ideology - the doctrine of human rights, the idea that human beings possess certain intrinsic unalienable rights purely because they are human beings. Firstly, people do not really have 'rights'. As Shaykh Abdalqadir says,
“Rights, properly speaking, can only be given by a ruler who commands both regulation and punishment. He can enforce where it is done and he can punish where it is not done. For example in the early Middle Ages the chivalric knights imposed rights forcing the Monarch to sign the Magna Carta, or Great Charter. Its key ‘rights’ were the backbone of domestic law from then, 1245, until the ‘democratic ruler’ Blair abolished it in 2001-2004. Now with a mythic ‘international community’ there is neither command nor punishment relative to any action.” And, of course, without that command or punishment, there can be no rights.
Secondly, even were there a one world government to enforce these 'rights', still the fact would remain that these 'rights' were formulated by people, and people, when left to their own devices, always tend to put their own personal interests first and work to their own agenda. So these ‘rights’ will always tend to favour the ideology of the grouping that penned them. As A.J. Milne put it, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights professes to be a statement of human rights, irrespective of the particular social and political order under which they happen to live,” but “goes on to enumerate a detailed list of rights which presupposes the values and institutions of a certain kind of social and political order, namely liberal, democratic, industrial society.”
Now let us examine some of the articles of the declaration of human rights with which these Islamic thinkers are so enamoured. The first article of the universal declaration of human rights relates to freedom, and reads:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Some of these ‘thinkers’ compromise their deen by affirming the brotherhood of man, thereby implying that the believer is the equal of the unbeliever. This is in direct contradiction to the deen and the teachings of the Prophet. Allah says,
إِنَّمَا الْمُومِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ
the translation of which is, “Indeed, the believers are brothers,” The muminun are brothers to one another, not to anyone else. No one with belief in Allah and the Last Day holds any love in their hearts for those who go against the Messenger, not even if they are their own physical brothers. Indeed, before his father became Muslim, sayyidina Abu Bakr said that he would have wished to have encountered him on the battlefield and fight him in the way of Allah. Allah also says,
مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ
the translation of which is, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the kafirun, merciful to one another.” To be Muslim, we must love what Allah loves and hate what He hates, and there is no doubt He hates kufr, for He says,
وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ
the translation of which is, “He is not pleased with kufr in His slaves.” Others go even further in order to justify this doctrine and declare that Islam came to abolish the institution of slavery, as we mentioned before, and reinterpret the Quran in order to justify their claim, saying that because Allah says in surat Muhammad that we should free or ransom prisoners after war, only mentioning the two options, and because the major source of slaves is prisoners of war, that is a firm indication that the Quran sought to abolish it. Riffat Hassan writes, “A Book which does not give a king or a prophet the right to command absolute obedience from another human being could not possibly sanction slavery in any sense of the word.”
This point of view is an extremely damaging one, for firstly, it suggests that all of the Companions who held slaves after the point that that aya was revealed, and indeed the Prophet himself who had the coptic slavegirl Maria in the final years of his life, were directly going against the Commands of Allah, and secondly that the deen as it has come down us through the Quran and Sunna was somehow incomplete, for there was nothing in either that unambiguously abolished slavery. Indeed, the Quran affirms it, for one of the types of kaffara that it legislates is freeing slaves and that presupposes their existence. Slavery is valid in the deen of Allah when its conditions are met and so it is not a right of the human condition to be born free.
Moreover, the truth of the matter is that in the societies that drafted this declaration, no one is born free, but everyone is born a debt slave, forced to work to pay of the existing national debt of the country into which he is born, and everyone must get permission of their master, the state, before they can do anything. You want to drive, you need a licence, you want to live somewhere, you must pay your rates, you want to sell something, you need a permit, you want to fish and take from the bounty of the ocean, you need a permit. And on and on and on. The article should read, "All human beings are born slaves without dignity." This is the reality of the world in which we find ourselves and is the inevitable consequence of putting our affairs in the hands of fellow human beings who are inherently selfish, and not submitting to the Will of the One who created us and knows what is best for us.
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الْعَظِيمَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ.
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
As for the second article of the doctrine of human rights, it states as part of it that we have no rights to distinguish or differentiate on the basis of religion. Furthermore, article 18 goes on to state that everyone is free to change their religion and manifest it openly or privately. Many Muslims say this is perfectly compatible with the deen of Islam, quoting such ayats as,
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ
which translates as, “There is no compulsion in the deen.” And,
فَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِنْ وَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ
the translation of which is, “So let whoever wishes have iman and whoever wishes be kafir.” And furthermore, some even go so far as to say there is no prohibition in the deen against apostasy, and that the fighting and killing of such people is only valid when they actively foment rebellion. This goes totally against the hadith of the Prophet,
مَنْ غَيَّرَ دِينَهُ فَاضْرِبُوا عُنُقَهُ
“Strike the neck of any who change their deen.” And it also goes against the consensus of the people of knowledge of the Muslims. Furthermore, while it is true that the Muslims never put a sword to any of the throats of the people of the Book and forced them to become Muslim, for what a person believes and does not believe is between him and Allah, still they did not treat Muslims and non-Muslims the same. For Allah instructs us to form a dhimma contract between us and them, saying,
حَتَّى يُعْطُوا الْجِزْيَةَ عَنْ يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ
the translation of which is, “Until they pay the jizya with their own hands in a state of complete abasement.” And does not permit them to enter into the Hijaz. Furthermore, they have no right to inherit from Muslims nor Muslims to inherit from them.
Many other articles are also inconsistent with the deen of Allah, but are in danger of being swept along with the tide of modernism and made part of the deen, such as article sixteen which permits anyone of any sex or any religion to marry, thereby permitting same sex marriages and marriages of non-Muslim men to Muslim women, all of which totally go against the Shariah of Allah. And, indeed, recently we have seen in the passing of the same sex marriage bill through the British Parliament that Muslim MPs were among those who voted in favour of it. And, indeed, when asked about it, expressly said that they voted in favour of it because it is a human right. Or article 19 permitting absolute freedom of expression, thereby permitting slander, tell-taling and insulting the Messenger of Allah and his Companions.
This human rights document purports to be about freedom, but in fact is more about enslavement, placing the world under the hegemony of a single world order that claims to liberate and tolerate difference, but in fact only tolerates those who share the same world view, a world order that claims to offer justice but allows banking and usury, a transaction that is built upon inequity. Human rights is a tool of conquest and empire. As Del Valle writes, ‘The fundamentalism of the Rights of Man is truly a weapon of subversion designed to discredit all patriotic sentiment and beyond, to destroy the legitimacy of nation-states.”
And to accept it means to turn the deen into a private religion that impacts on no part of one’s life other than one’s individual and personal relationship with one’s Creator. It means the separation of the shahadatayn. And we cannot accept that. The shahadatayn must be reunited and the Deen must be made whole - ‘Ibada and Mu‘amala - Prayer and Trade. This has to be our goal and our aim and the goal and aim of every Muslim who lives in these troubled times.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن خديجة وعائشة وسائر أزواج النبي، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.