Khutbas by Hajj Abdalhaqq
First Khutba Friday 1st September 2006
Do not be deceived by the fact that those who disbelieve move freely about the earth.
A brief enjoyment; then their shelter will be Hell. What an evil resting-place!
But those who fear their Lord will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them,
remaining in them timelessly, forever:hospitality from Allah.
What is with Allah is better for the truly good. (3:196-198)
No Muslim can help but have been affected by the recent events in Lebanon; and the ongoing, if currently less prominently publicised, conflicts in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir and elsewhere, are a constant reminder of the beleaguered situation of Islam and Muslims in the world today. This is, of course, aided and abetted by the unceasing "war on terror" media barrage, punctuated, as it is, by periodic atrocities and alerts and the senseless paranoia they generate. These things forms the inescapable background to the day to day reality of every one of us and, because of the intrusive nature of the modern media, almost no one, wherever they live, is unaware of any of them. This means, in turn, that what is happening to Muslims anywhere in the world becomes the direct concern of every one of us, because, as the Prophet, salla'llahu alayhi wa sallam, made clear to us on several occasions, all Muslims form part of a single body. So the question for us is: how do we respond to what confronts us; how do we deal with it; what can we do about it?
First of all we need to have a proper understanding of what is going on. Usually the only access we have to events across the world is through the news media. At best this gives us a very superficial, one dimensional view of what is happening and all too often, as we know, the coverage of events is biased to the point of giving us a totally false view of the true state of affairs. Usually if you strip away the media veneer and penetrate below the surface of events a quite different picture emerges. As yet the horrific onslaught on Lebanon is too recent for the dust to have settled and its wider geopolitical ramifications to be properly grasped. So to compare the media induced public perception of a particular event with the geopolitical reality behind it we might take as an example the first Gulf War.
The authorised version of that event is that the bloodthirsty, boundlessly ambitious tyrant, Saddam Hussayn, denied access to the waters of the Gulf and thwarted in his bid for territorial expansion and more oilfields by the stalemate resulting from his long war with Iran, gratuitously invaded defenceless Kuwait, thereby gravely threatening democracy and freedom and the rule of law throughout the world. So in the interests of freedom and democracy, a huge alliance of Muslim and non-Muslim forces was harmoniously brought together, defeated the evil tyrant and drove him back to his lair.
The underlying picture is, however, very different. In his war against Iran, Saddam had been openly supported and armed by the US and European states and was considered a highly valued ally of the West. This strengthening of Iraq had, however, in Western eyes, eventually created a dangerous imbalance in the region, because Iraq now posed a real threat to Israel and Western oil interests. Meanwhile, flush with billions of petrodollars, the region's oil producers, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at the helm, had begun to flex their financial muscles in the Western heartlands and were making themselves felt in no uncertain way in an arena that had, until that time, been the exclusive preserve of a very exclusive club which wanted no new members.
The lie to the authorised version is given right at the start of the affair by the now well-known fact that Saddam only went into Kuwait after receiving a green light from the American embassy in Baghdad. By the end of the conflict, Saddam was emasculated; Kuwait's financial resources were tied up in reconstruction for the forseeable future; Saudi Arabia, almost unbelievably, was overnight transformed creditor to debtor and found itself owing billions to Western banks to pay for the war; and, as a bonus and against all Islamic precedents, US military bases had been established in the Arabian peninsula guarding Western oil interests. So it can be seen that the pre-war scenario sketched out earlier was resolved totally to the advantage of those Western interests which before the war appeared considerably under threat. It had nothing to do with freedom and democracy whatsoever.
What is absolutely clear from this is that the media version of events certainly cannot be taken at face value; but what a lot of Muslims fail to recognise is that, while it is extremely important to realize this, it is also very dangerous to get too involved in trying to work out the machinations which underlie the media version. There is a saying, "Don't get phased by the foreground or you'll get lost in the fairground," and that is indeed the fate of all too many intelligent and well-intentioned Muslims. Once you get caught up in trying to get to the bottom of all the intricate geopolitical factors that lie behind current events you are liable to find yourself lost in a maze with no exit. There is a film called "Parallax View" in which the hero is convinced that he has unearthed a hidden cabal which lies behind the assassination of several prominent American politicians. He starts to dig into the matter, confident that he is getting nearer and nearer to being able to expose the conspiracy. But all the time he is in fact walking into a well-prepared trap and the film ends with him being set up to take the blame for yet another assassination in the process of which he is himself shot and killed.
No, it is essential for Muslims not to lose themselves in trying to unravel the tangled threads which lie behind the political scheming of the kuffar, or in any conspiracy theories which stem from them, however attractive or true they may seem. We must take a strictly Qur'anic viewpoint in all these matters, seeing the Hand of Allah in everything that happens, and not allow ourselves to get caught up in kafir game plans which are designed to prevent Islam being presented in its true light. A clear model of how to go about this can be found in the internet articles of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, whose relevant and trenchant analysis of current events as they unfold, their effect on the situation of the Muslims, and the way forward from them, is always firmly based on the Book of Allah and never loses sight of the fact that Allah tabaraka wa ta'ala has continual and absolute control of everything in existence.
We ask Allah, tabaraka wa ta’ala, to arm us with the sword of true tawhid, enabling us to cut to the quick of the true meaning of events and, by that, to cease being impotent spectators of Muslim suffering and become active and effective supporters of Allah and His Messenger and all the Muslims. We ask Allah to open the way for Muslims everywhere and make our present difficulties a source of future strength. We ask Allah to make His din victorious so that the justice and compassion of Islam may once more become a dominating influence in world affairs.
Second Khutba, Friday 1st September 2006
Say: "Travel in the earth and see the end result of the evildoers."
Do not grieve over them and do not let what they plot constrict you.
They say, "When will this promise be fulfilled if you speak the truth."
Say: "It may well be that some of what you are anxious to hasten on is right on your heels."
Allah possesses favour for mankind. But most of them are not thankful. (27:71-75)
Let us return to the shamefully devastated landscape of Lebanon. It seems that no matter where we look in the world, Muslims are being killed and their homes destroyed. We know that Islam stands for unparalleled social justice and that Western democracy conceals flagrant social injustices of the basest kind and yet we see and hear the divinely prescribed values of Islam being demonized, and man-made Western values glorified, by every media outlet. Every day some new outrage is inflicted on the Muslims. Lebanon is just the latest in an endless series of attacks.
But in the face of all this it is vital that we do not attribute our weakness and apparent impotence to the military, technological or any other kind of superiority on the part of the enemies of Islam and that we constantly remember the reality of our situation. Allah ta'ala tells us:
Do those who take the kuffar as protectors, rather than the believers, hope to find power and strength with them? Power and strength belong entirely to Allah. (4:138)
That is on account of what you did. Allah does not wrong His slaves. (3:182)
The last ayat makes it clear that we cannot lay the blame for our current circumstances on anyone else and that we should be prepared to look seriously at ourselves to see why we find ourselves in our present predicament. That does not and should not in any way lessen our grief and anger at the death, injury and dispossession of so many fellow Muslims – men, women and children – at the hands of Israeli aggression in Lebanon, because as we know from an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir, the Prophet, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam, said, "The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, compassion and affection is that of the body. When one limb of it complains the rest of the body reacts with sleeplessness and fever." So it is natural and right that we should feel deep distress at what has happened. Nevertheless that should not blind us to the fact that, in reality, responsibility for our situation lies with ourselves. Allah tells us unequivocally:
Any bad thing which happens to you comes from yourself. (4:78)
A pertinent clue to the distressing state of the Muslims today may well lie in the ayat in Suratu'l-Anfal referring to the Prophet, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam:
Allah would never punish them while you are among them. (8:33)
So if we find ourselves under the cosh it can only mean that we have, as a community, lost contact with the Messenger of Allah, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam; and conversely that if we want to free ourselves from constant bombardment we must renew our contact with him, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam. He made it clear that he is with those who love him so the remedy is not difficult.
The first step is the implementation of his noble Sunna, not just by copying his outward actions but also, and perhaps more importantly, by taking on the noble qualities of character he so perfectly exemplified: his generosity, forbearance, compassion and love for what is loved by Allah balanced by his courage, justice, fear of Allah and hatred for what is hated by Allah. Secondly, the seat of love is the heart and the key to the heart is the tongue; so let all Muslims everywhere reject the negative energy of those who discourage dhikrullah and prayer on the Prophet, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam, and let them obey their Lord by calling down blessings on His Messenger at every available opportunity. He himself said to us: "The closest people to me are those who call down blessings on me the most." There is no doubt that that would make his presence, salla'Llahu alayhi wa salllam, felt among us once more and prevent the enemies of Islam making further punitive inroads into the Muslim umma.
And we must never fail to remember that the affair is not in our hands:
Say, "The affair belongs entirely to Allah." (3:154)
Nor are the machinations of the kuffar in any way out of Allah's control, however harshly the Muslims may seem to be affected by them; and their end result is sometimes very different from their first appearance:
They plotted and Allah plotted. But Allah is the best of plotters. (3:53)
There was never greater devastation of the heartlands of Islam, before or since, than that wreaked by the Mongol invasion of the 13th Century, even allowing for the huge destructive power of modern weaponry. They laid waste to vast areas and reduced huge cities to mounds of rubble, slaughtering millions in the process. Yet within two generations they were all Muslims and brought about a resurgence of Islam throughout the whole of the Islamic East which lasted for centuries and whose effect can be felt to this day.