The Eighth of eight Discourses on ‘Amal,
12th January 2008,
Nizamia Mosque, Tokai, Cape Town, South Africa

We have been examining the affair of ‘Amal, and have recognised that it is the primal matter of the Deen. To understand it more deeply we began with the Surat Luqman since it contains the exalted counsel of Luqman to his son. Our first discovery was of such importance that we did not get to the actual advice itself, for what preceded it in this Surat was crucial teaching on Tawhid and Allah’s Power.

Now that we are ready to examine the counsel, we must prepare ourselves for a further opening of knowledge. Just as Luqman’s counsel is preceded by the warnings and good news from Allah, we will discover that the personal guidance given by Luqman is in turn followed up by grave pronouncements addressed by Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, to the human race itself – mankind.

This is going to force us to a very uncompromising position, one that gives linkage to these two counsels. We go to Surat Luqman (31:13-15):

When Luqman said to his son, counselling him,
“My son, do not associate anything with Allah.
Associating others with Him is a terrible wrong.”

We have instructed man concerning his parents.
Bearing him caused his mother great debility
and the period of his weaning was two years:
“Give thanks to Me and to your parents.
I am your final destination.
But if they try to make you associate something with Me
about which you have no knowledge, do not obey them.
Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this world
but follow the Way of him who turns to Me.
Then you will return to Me and I will inform you about the things you did.”

There are two vital elements to be taken from these Ayats. The first is that Adab due to parents is linked in character to the activity of worship by the slave of Allah:

Give thanks to Me and to your parents.

The tenure of behaviour expected of the Mumin to his parents is characterised as ‘correct’ and ‘courteous’.

The second element is the limit set on the contract of obedience and care:

But follow the Way of him who turns to Me.

Now, to us, that directly refers to the Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as that is his perfect description. It can however be extended to the guidance from within the Muslim Community that calls to right action and could find itself denied or opposed by parents.

The next Ayats continue the counsel. We turn to Surat Luqman (31:16-19):

“My son, even if something weighs as little as a mustard-seed
and is inside a rock
or anywhere else in the heavens or earth,
Allah will bring it out.
Allah is All-Pervading, All-Aware.

My son, establish Salat
and command what is right and forbid what is wrong
and be steadfast in the face of all that happens to you.
That is certainly the most resolute course to follow.
Do not avert your face from people out of haughtiness
and do not strut about arrogantly on the earth.
Allah does not love anyone who is vain or boastful.
Be moderate in your tread and lower your voice.
The most hateful of voices is the donkey’s bray.”

The first of these Ayats reassures the Mumin that Allah governs the universe from within the universe, so that all creation is obedient and also active in fulfilling the destinies of men. The second Ayat is clear and radiant. The two subsequent Ayats confirm that the Muslims are expected to try to attain to that perfect behaviour which is shown to us by our beloved Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

It is following this noble counsel that Allah reveals the setting against which this good behaviour may expect to find itself enacted. Here we come to this other matter that I said would appear after the counsel to the son. Thus we go to Surat Luqman (31:33):

Mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord
and fear a day when no father will be able to atone for his son,
or son for his father, in any way.
Allah’s promise is true.
So do not let the life of the dunya delude you
and do not let the Deluder delude you concerning Allah.

So the Mumin is called to this highest behaviour, this noble action, against the world situation of disintegrating and degrading behaviour from mankind at large. Let us look at Surat Fatir (35:3-7):

Mankind! remember Allah’s blessing to you.
Is there any creator other than Allah providing for you from heaven and earth?
There is no god but Him.
So how have you been perverted?

If they deny you, Messengers before you were also denied.
All matters return to Allah.

Mankind! Allah’s promise is true.
Do not let the life of the dunya delude you
and do not let the Deluder delude you about Allah.

Shaytan is your enemy so treat him as an enemy.
He summons his party so they will be among the people of the Searing Blaze.
Those who are kafir will suffer a harsh punishment.
But those who have Iman and do right actions will receive forgiveness and an immense reward.

It is clear from this that in every age, the Muslims are set down on a ferocious conflict where mankind struggles to triumph in possessing power and wealth and dominion over others. It is in this way that the modern Muslim has to see that the Divine project offered in Islam sets itself against the project of mankind on the whole, who have turned their heads from this. So we now look again at Surat Fatir (35:15-21). It is very important you follow the meanings of this very carefully:

Mankind! You are the poor in need of Allah
whereas Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy.
If He wills He can dispense with you and bring about a new creation.
That is not difficult for Allah.

No burden-bearer can bear another’s burden.
If someone weighed down calls for help to bear his load,
none of it will be borne for him, even by his next of kin.
You can only warn those who fear their Lord in the Unseen
and establish Salat.
Whoever is purified, is purified for himself alone.
Allah is your final destination.

The blind and seeing are not the same nor are darkness and light
nor are cool shade and fierce heat.

The situation that we are in is one that has been continuous and unchanging from the end of the Khalifate of Sultan ‘Abdulhamid II of Istanbul, rahimahullah. From that point on the Muslims turned their backs on the Deen and accepted, with significant exceptions, this way of mankind which felt that it could, by its own strength, create a new society and make everybody rich and make everybody prosperous. We then entered into that hellish century called the Twentieth Century. From its very beginning, here in South Africa, the Boer War led to the First World War and on to the so-called Second World War – both of which were one continuous war. Only after all that, there was to emerge the macabre spectacle of one country slowly taking control of the whole of the world system, almost totally, and the Muslims, in all of that, have had a most shameful record.

This is because the Muslim became an individual and said, “I will accept everything they do, and I will just go on and will try to make some money out of it and store some under the bed for a rainy day, and I will send my son to their colleges to learn how he then can be one of them. And the best that can be is that my son turns out to be a successful version of the kuffar.” That has been the situation of the Muslims throughout the whole world.

The ‘Ulama, especially in the Subcontinent, when the kuffar took over the Mughal Empire, fled from Delhi, the capital of power and Amr on which Islam was based, and some went to Deoband and some went to Barelwi, and they said, “We have lost the Amr, so now you must follow us,” and in that instant they became Shi‘a. They said, “The rulers are unjust and cruel but we will give you the proper teaching, and we will wait, because when the Mahdi comes everything will be cleaned up at the end of the world.” This is the situation that has befallen all of us.

In all of this, there remains one community that, in itself, has been corrupted so that one part of it withdrew simply to a kind of worship of the Awliya and ‘Arifin of the past, and so there was a kind of dead Sufism. Because that was a polarity, it then caused another sect that was trying somehow to rescue the Muslims by purification of the Deen to say, “The enemy is this other extremity – the ones who worship the tombs.” But BOTH of these had rejected the element on which Islam is based and founded which is the Amr, which is Command, without which, as we have seen earlier in this series of studies, it is impossible for there to be Salat, it is impossible for there to be Zakat, it is impossible for there to be Ramadan itself in its beginnings and ends, and it is impossible for there to be Hajj.

Thus, the responsibility of the Muslims is set against this warning to mankind of what they must take on, because we are Bani Adam. We have to take on the warning of Allah to the human race because the warning of Luqman to his son is not in itself enough. That is why Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, makes after it these devastating Ayats where He calls on mankind and warns mankind that the path they are on is not going to succeed and cannot succeed. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in Surat az-Zukhruf (43:33-35):

Were it not that mankind might all become one community,
We would have given those who reject the All-Merciful silver roofs to their houses
and silver stairways to ascend and silver doors to their houses
and silver couches on which to recline, and gold ornaments.
All that is merely the trappings of the life of the dunya.
But the Akhira with your Lord is for those who have Taqwa.

So the awakening of the Muslims and the revival of the Deen of Islam will come when a generation of Muslims step forward and disassociate themselves from this madness on which the main body of mankind have embarked. That will manifest itself in their disconnection from the false wealth on which the whole system is based, for wealth belongs to Allah. Allah says in Surat Fatir very clearly (35:15):

Mankind! You are the poor in need of Allah
whereas Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy.

This is the terrible responsibility that has fallen on the Muslims of today. In that sense, it is not the kuffar who are to be blamed for the disaster that has fallen on a whole zone of the world, from Iraq to the gates of China, because right next to that terrible devastation is the macabre, extravagant, apparent wealth of the richness of the Arab world. Right next to this devastation and poverty and suffering and mass-murder are these Arabs who have taken on this pseudo-wealth and have built themselves these skyscrapers in the desert.

In all of this the whole body of Muslims have let this happen, have remained silent, and those who think that ANY form of violent murder of innocents – which the kuffar call ‘Terrorism’ – can accomplish anything, must realise that that is precisely the escape vent, the relief vent, which guarantees that nothing will happen, and nothing will be changed because the only thing that will change things is when the Muslims disconnect from the wealth they have acquired in this false-wealth system and realise that: “Mankind! You are the poor in need of Allah, whereas Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy.” And that wealth belongs to Allah, and this is not real wealth that they have, it is a fantasy.

The horrible thing is that you find in Johannesburg, and you find also in London and France and North Africa, that the so-called wealthy Muslims still think they can put the money under the bed, and hand some to their sons who already are taking drugs and crashing their cars and dying. This is the reality in which we live. So the awakening of the Muslims is not to awaken to a petty violence called Terrorism but to confront the massive violence of the slaughter of innocent people in Iraq and the Subcontinent and north of it – this is the responsibility of the Muslims, and it is the responsibility of the people who have studied the Deen and who have learned the Qur’an and know what its meanings are. This is what has to be grasped. The message of the Qur’an is absolutely exact today as it was at the time it was revealed to Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Therefore, the counsel of Luqman cannot in itself satisfy the demand that Allah makes, because Allah makes a demand on the human creature to fulfil the Divine Contract. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in Surat al-Ahzab (33:72-73):

We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains
but they refused to take it on and shrank from it.
But man took it on.
He is indeed wrongdoing and ignorant.
This was so that Allah might punish the men and women of the Munafiqun,
and the men and women of the Mushrikun,
and turn towards the men and women of the Muminun.
Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

* * * * *

In these Ayats we have looked at in Surat Fatir, the final guidance to the Muminin is that they must continue on the Sabil of Allah, despite the world condition in which they find themselves. Allah gives strength and power from Him, for here He tells us that mankind are but a lesser part of a cosmic creation, and one that is entirely Allah’s creation. So for this we turn to Surat Ghafir (40:57-58):

The creation of the heavens and earth
is far greater than the creation of mankind.
But most of mankind do not know it.
The blind and the seeing are not the same.
Nor are those who have Iman and do right actions the same as evildoers.
What little heed they pay!

The doctrine of the kuffar is what they call ‘Humanism’. But the human, in worshipping the human, is below-human – they have become subhuman in order to worship the human as an ideal. But what Allah is telling us is that even to worship mankind is an idolatry because that is but a small part of the creation. The idea that the power could be invested in the humans in absurd when Allah is saying, “LOOK! The Power is with the Creator of all the universe of which the humans are one tiny, tiny part.”

So we worship Allah Who has created them and the whole universe, whereas they are still worshipping this one little bit, and that is the idolatry, the kufr, of modern times. “The creation of the heavens and earth is far greater than the creation of mankind. But most of mankind do not know it.” Again, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, repeats this message that “The blind and the seeing are not the same.”

The creation of the heavens and earth
is far greater than the creation of mankind.
But most of mankind do not know it.
The blind and the seeing are not the same.
Nor are those who have Iman and do right actions the same as evildoers.
What little heed they pay!

I go back to this image of the modern Muslim as a businessman. It is to me much more offensive than the most terrible aspect of the kufr of the kafirun, because they have embarked on a Shari‘at that is not the Shari‘at of Islam and they are content with it. Not only are they content with it but they even think that from it they can dispense help and support to the Muslims and to the cause of Islam.

You have to understand that to participate in the procedures of what is called the Capitalist System of finance in any way, is absolutely to prevent the emergence of a worshipping community among the human beings. It is to prevent it! They ask, “Do you want me to be poor then?” I have met in my life-time individual Muslims who have given up being businessmen, and they are the ones who have had success. The ones who have held on to it have had calamity upon calamity. I saw an excellent man who bought a skyscraper in the Lebanon saying, “I am a good Muslim and I’m giving this to my mother because this will be a Waqf for her and give her income for the rest of her life.” I said to him, “Sell it immediately! Get rid of it because it will be destroyed!” He said, “No, no, no, you don’t understand. I have to fulfil my task as a Muslim.”

Within the year the thing had been burned out of existence. It was destroyed. You cannot build a life on the financial transactions of something that already has been condemned by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala. But some strange psychosis has entered into modern men, and into modern Muslims, whereby they think that they can do this. It cannot continue. If you turn on the television and look in the newspapers – it is crashing. This bank is collapsing, that bank is going to the wall. The matter is at its end-game anyway. How many sons have crashed their Mercedes? How many sons have taken drugs and been destroyed?

But this still continues, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in South Africa. Alongside the wellbeing of a wealthy Muslim community, they have not lifted one finger to do Da’wa to the people of the country. You have to understand the extremity with which this takes place. And yet the moment the kuffar are drowned in a tsunami, they pour their money out to help those people – and all the money they gave went to those who ran the brothels along the coast of Thailand, for they were the important victims of the tsunami.

This is the world we live in. But this cannot be the world that YOU live in. It is your generation. It is your responsibility. If you want purification, then the purification has to begin where there is one enormous gap in the Deen of Islam, which is Zakat, and it cannot be restored until there is Amr to order the collecting of the Zakat, and until the money is real money of gold and silver. This is our responsibility, but this cannot be done if you send your sons to university to learn Business Management – to be good kuffar. Better that you leave the whole thing and you become happy drunks until you fall down, choked in your own vomit. At least that is consistent. This is the dilemma facing the Muslims of today.

That is why the whole project of Terrorism is so infuriating and upsetting. Not because of the innocent people who are killed by it, but because in fact it prolongs the process of kufr. It is the licence for the whole thing to continue, because if that is the message of Islam then they say: “Business as usual.” But the message of the Muslims is: “Put down the paper money, and the whole affair collapses.” This will take a kind of intoxication that will not come by the people of ratiocination, because the ‘reasonable’ people have revealed themselves as hypocrites. They may be reasonable, but they are reasonable hypocrites.

Surat an-Nisa (4:59):

Obey Allah and obey the Messenger.

If you take that seriously, you will open a path to Islam and you will see it happen in your life-time. Allah gives the news of that certainty on which all true ‘Amal is based. We go to Surat Ghafir (40:64-65):

It is Allah who made the earth a stable home for you and the sky a dome,
and formed you, giving you the best of forms,
and provided you with good and wholesome things.
That is Allah, your Lord.
Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.
He is the Living – there is no god but Him –
so call on Him, making your deen sincerely His.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

Let us look at that again:

It is Allah who made the earth a stable home for you and the sky a dome,
and formed you, giving you the best of forms,
and provided you with good and wholesome things.
That is Allah, your Lord.
Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.
He is the Living – there is no god but Him –
so call on Him, making your deen sincerely His.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

Al-Hamdulillahi Rabbil-‘alamin. Fatihah.