26 December 2006
Allah the Exalted has said in Surat al-Hajj (22:26-32):
And We located the position of the House for Ibrahim:
‘Do not associate anything with Me
and purify My House for those who circle it,
and those who stand and bow and prostrate.
Announce the Hajj to mankind.
They will come to you on foot
and on every sort of lean animal,
coming by every distant road
so that they can be present at what will profit them
and invoke Allah’s name on specific days
over livestock He has provided for them.
Eat of them and feed those who are poor and in need.
Then they should end their state of self-neglect
and fulfil their vows and circle the Ancient House.’
That is it.
If someone honours Allah’s sacred things,
that is better for him in his Lord’s sight.
All livestock are permitted to you
except what has already been recited to you.
Have done with the defilement of idols
and have done with telling lies.
Be people of pure natural belief in Allah,
not associating anything else with Him.
As for anyone who associates others with Allah,
it is as though he had fallen from the sky
and the birds had seized him and carried him away
or the wind had dropped him in a distant place.
That is it.
As for those who honour Allah’s sacred rites,
that comes from the taqwa in their hearts.
It is at this time of the Hajj that we are forcibly reminded that our glorious Deen which was sent by Allah the Exalted on the tongue of his chosen Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came with the purified and only acceptable summation of mankind’s worship up until that time. The Hajj reminds us that our perfect Deen is nothing other than the Deen al-Fitra, in its turn purified and established by Sayyiduna Ibrahim, peace be upon him. Thus if there is to be any reunion, as so many of the atheists of today pretend they desire, they must understand that in reason and in history their affair has to end with submission to that pure Deen that Allah has been pleased to call Islam. They must come to us, for to go back would be to go back to the ancient corruptions.
Since the Law of Abrogation confirms to us that the abrogated must submit as time has overturned it, in the same way it is our duty to ascertain that the Deen is free of false accretion and deviation. What can rightly be called the Way of the Salaf is of course none other than what our Muttakallimun refer to as the Madhhab of the ‘Amal of the Ahl al-Madinah, which has also been called ‘Umm al-Madhahib’.
The great upholder of the School of Madinah was of course Ibn Taymiyyah, whose treatise on the supremacy of its Madhhab over all others remains one of the glories of our scholarship. His other great achievement was his utterly uncompromising insistence that the Muslim rulers should collect the Jizya from the non-Muslims, a matter of such paramount importance that it was probably the last instruction given by the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. Let us be reminded that the amount of the Jizya tax, on the one hand, is even less than current VAT, or sales tax, and on the other hand is an evidentiary proof that the Ahl adh-Dhimma are assured civic safety and protection while under our rulership. Modern Israelis should bear in mind that in Hitler’s Germany, paying the Jizya would have saved the lives of six million of their people!
Another of Ibn Taymiyyah’s great insights was his observation that if you wish to put right what is wrong in contemporary Islam, you must go back to its source in order to see what must be put right. Following his guidance, it is at the beginning of the affair that we recognise the occurrence of the Fitnat al-Kubra.
In our understanding, this Great Fitna had two elements. The first was to achieve a governance that would hold together the great majority of the Ummah. This issue in political terms would determine who was Khalif. The second was to sustain the Islamic rule that Nabawiyya had to be separate from political governance. This was the profound recognition of Sayyideta Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her. This was not a denial of dynastic rule, but a denial of the linkage of dynasty to Nabawiyya. The moment the Deen took as a central foundation that the only House of Rulership was the House of the Messenger, it then placed a Divine Religion under the inexorable laws of time which would inevitably bring that dynasty to an end, as every other dynasty had come to an end before it. It would follow from this that those who held to this fantasy would sooner or later have to metaphysicise the leader. This, of course, is what happened. According to them, some say seven, some say nine, most say twelve became the leaders of Islam, although they never ruled. They never governed. They never dispensed justice. They never collected the Zakat. They never protected their poor. They never made Jihad in the Way of Allah. The in-time system ran out, and so their twelfth leader was magically metamorphosed into being the Mahdi, who at the end of time would descend and supervise the punishment of the Muslim nation. This clearly was another religion. It was not a bida’, it was a quite new construct, and that construct began with the fourth of the Khulafa Rashidun, may Allah be pleased with them, at least in his name, although he disassociated from it in the strongest terms.
This has been unfinished business among our people since those days. The position of the Muslim Nation has always been overly pacific, overly forgiving, and overly trusting. We say overly trusting because the Muslim Nation on many occasions was bitterly betrayed by the Shi‘a religion and left to the mercy of kafir forces – in Baghdad, in Egypt, in Tunisia, and in India.
Now, where Aisha pitched her tents of war with the two great Sahaba who had been assured the Garden, yet again the Muslims are not only being slaughtered but await that genocidal vengeance which has been promised them by the Shi‘a leader in Iraq.
The position of the Sufis has always been cautious in this affair, but always insistent that there could be no compromise with Aisha’s central claim, and so they have felt it a matter of necessity to continue a Da’wa to the Shi‘a, confident that their religion could not sustain the rational examination.
Alas the situation in Iraq is not conducive to rational discourse. I personally have known two renowned Shi‘a. One of them told me at the end of his life that since he could find no evidence of anything but love and trust between Sayyiduna ‘Ali and Sayyiduna ‘Umar over the long period of the latter’s Khalifate, he had withdrawn from the Shi‘a argument and passed his last days uniquely immersed in love of the Rasul alone, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The other had already left the Shi‘a on our first meeting, and after trying hard to take it on again, never seemed able to accept the doctrine of the Twelve Perfect Men. A friend of the latter, an Iraqi gentleman with one parent Muslim and the other Shi‘a, told me that reason would not work. It is a psychological system. It sees the father as dethroned from his rightful inheritance, and the weeping mother with her dead sons enthroned in his place.
The epicentre of this crisis is Iraq. Looking to the north there is Syria. Syria is a Muslim country that has since Assad been occupied territory ruled by a small Shi‘a Junta, which in one horrific night killed twenty thousand men, women and children to abort a Muslim uprising.
Lebanon, which was a jewel of Islamic scholarship under Osmanli governance, was culturally destroyed by its acquisition after World War I, and the paralysis caused by a franco-christian settlement.
In Palestine the Hamas regime, which has adopted the Isma‘ili suicide doctrine, has effectively turned the country into a Shi‘a-Lebanese enclave. Muslim scholars there have been terrorised into silence.
It is against this background of an ancient conflict that we must renew our Deen and our Nation. We must put behind us our own errors as a Nation and seek renewal in Allah. Our Arab brothers must recognise how deeply they plunged into the materialist fantasies of socialism with these quite dreadful leaders, Nasser, Assad, Saddam. At the same time, many of us in the Sufic brotherhoods who have had to put up with aggravation and even persecution in the past by the wahhabi leadership, we too, must put this behind us. The wahhabi movement for its part has foundered on precisely their failure to offer a hand of brotherhood to anybody – not the Shuyukh of the Sufic Tariqas, and certainly not the royal inheritors of Ibn Saud. They ended up a condemned band of criminals hiding in the mountains, their presence alone bringing down on these mountains the horrific curse of the raping and murdering kafir forces that now occupy that land. Now Bin Laden is dead and now his so-called successor gives out edicts across the world. A man to whom no-one has given Bayat, no-one collects his Zakat, he authorises no-one to dispense it. Not one Muslim in the world can tell you either his intellectual background or his daily actions in the world of events. Properly speaking, their disgraced organisation is now a fiction in the head of a new class of pseudo-academics who claim to be experts in terrorism.
As the dust clears in the Middle East, what is daily more evident is that the War on Terror was the USA’s last bid for Empire. Their own Think-Tanks confirm that the American project has failed miserably. Swiftly and inexorably, Mexico is taking back its northern territories.
The first rule, when under attack from many quarters, is to strengthen the centre. In order to do this, our first duty is to reject utterly the persistent mantra of the USA and European media which defines the Iraqi conflict as Sectarian. There cannot be two sects of the Deen al-Haqq. There is Islam, and it is One Nation. Shi‘ism is another religion. We must put clear blue water between us, the Muslims, and them, the Shi‘a. Once that is clear in our actions and discourse, we simply must see that our differences do not separate us, and remember we have been told by the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that they are a mercy for us. It is important that our Community unifies itself not psychologically but in practical terms. The key to this unification, therefore, has to manifest in our support and assured protection of King Abdullah of Arabia.
The world is a very different place from the one in which Roosevelt, a great World War over, knew he had to stop over to visit the king of Saudi Arabia. Any critic of Arabia would be foolish to imagine, after all that has happened since the establishment of Aramco, that the rulers of the country are unaware that geopolitically they have one enemy, the USA, and at the same time, also geopolitically, yet another enemy, the Shi‘a hegemony which has effectively conquered the whole of the Middle East. King Abdullah is a wise man, and as a ruler he is entitled to make concordance with whatever powers he considers necessary. The Bush regime declares others evil, implying that they are good, as a result the whole world now laughs at them in their military dilemma. The Americans are over-stretched, over-taxed, and over-fed. King Abdullah can summon an army from the four corners of the world.
The first protection of the King has to be a recognition that any attempt to introduce the suave discourse of democracy into the Kingdom must be interpreted as an overt sabotage on the Muslim rulership of Arabia. The next protection of the King is dependent on his perception, one he is well able to make, that the Age of Politics is effectively over and that, this being the case, the OIC can neither help nor harm. What would be a protection for this Muslim monarchy would be to transform the OIC into a Palace of Muslim Trade and Commerce. This would allow a forum for the strengthening of Muslim wealth everywhere, a wealth which has been shattered into a thousand poverties by the Nation-State system. Such a commercial hub should have a basic form which would allow all Muslim traders to trade together with other Muslims, rather than strengthening the kuffar, while operating under the current financial system which we all know, participate in and recognise. The second tier of operations should allow the Centre to be an arena where modules and parameters of modern commerce should be practised step by step more inside the modalities of the Islamic trade of our common Fiqh. This of course would entail at a certain point the monarchy issuing an Islamic currency based on the Golden Dinar and the Silver Dirham.
At this time of Hajj we thank Allah the Exalted that it is being celebrated. We thank Allah that it is protected. We thank Allah that its rites are overseen by a Muslim ruler. As we recite the following Ayats we also ask Allah, glory be to Him, to make them the Du‘a of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in order that Allah sustain him as the Protector of the Haramayn. Allah the Exalted has said in Surat Ibrahim (14:37-38, also 40-41):
Our Lord! I have settled some of my offspring
by Your Sacred House in an uncultivated valley.
Our Lord! Let them establish salat!
Make the hearts of mankind incline towards them
and provide them with fruits,
so that hopefully they will be thankful.
Our Lord! You know what we keep hidden
and what we divulge.
Nothing is hidden from Allah
either on the earth or in heaven.
My Lord! Make me and my descendants
people who establish salat.
My Lord! Accept my prayer.
Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and the muminun
on the Day the Reckoning takes place.’