Capsules of faith: Stay positive! Faith is strength!

Faith

By A.Z.

Have you ever wished for something so much, worked hard to get it, prayed for God to give it you, but never received it?

“It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allâh knows but you do not know” Quran 2:126.

Was your dua/prayer not answered?

Maybe you were not given what you wanted, only to be given something better?

Sometimes you may feel that Allah (S.W.T) didn’t give you the things that you wished for, but couldn’t it have been that you might be blessed by not having those things?

You might even come to know why you were not given those things or maybe you will never know.

Abu Hanifa’s life was full of things that he wished for, but not given. He was the grandson of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R.A) and his mother was the Princess of Persia. His maternal grandfather was Yazdegard, the King of Persia. His aunt was the mother of believers, Sayeda Aisha (R.A). He was one of the 7 jurists who laid down the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence. This diversity and wealth of his background could have contributed to him being such an extraordinary person. Diversity, tolerance and equality are values entrenched in Islam.

Both of his parents were killed in the conflict that erupted at the time of the Caliphate of Ali (R.A). Sometimes, we are subjected to trials and tribulations, but these ordeals could be meant to benefit us in ways we are not aware of.

This is stated in the Holy Quran,“O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them – except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary, live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it maybe that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good” 4:19.

After the loss of his parents, Abu Hanifa was raised by his aunt, Sayeda Aisha (R.A.), who had not been blessed with any children of her own. Indeed, Allah (S.W.T) had given Abu Hanifa a very privileged upbringing by one of the greatest and most revered ladies in Islam. Almost one third of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet pbuh) and Islamic jurisprudence comes from Sayeda Aisha (R.A). She raised Abu Hanifa to become one of the most prominent intellectual figures in Islamic history, whose influence extends to this day on Muslim jurisprudence.

If you always wished for something and did everything you could to get it but you were unsuccessful, it might mean that Allah (S.W.T) wants something better for you. You can still keep trying but keep in mind that your effort will not be wasted as Allah (S.W.T) will either give you what you want or better Insha’allah.

Don’t feel demoralised!

Keep trying!

Never lose hope!

Always remember that your efforts will be rewarded Insha’allah. We are rewarded according to our intentions and to our efforts in pursuing them. If we are not granted success, we will still be rewarded for our efforts and intentions Insha’allah.

The Holy Quran states,“As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily we shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed” 18:30.

Abu Hanifa recognised Allah’s (S.W.T) blessings on him when he acknowledged that Sayeda Aisha (R.A.) had been a better mother than all mothers he has encountered in his life.

Sometimes, we overlook the blessings we have. We take what we have for granted. Maybe it is time that we look around us with a fresh perspective and see all the blessings we have in a new light. It is time to be thankful to all those who make our life meaningful. It is time to show your appreciation and gratitude.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:“He has not thanked Allah (S.W.T) who has not thanked people.”

Abu Hanifa once said to Sayeda Aisha (R.A.), “I hope to be like my grandfather, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R.A)”.

She replied by saying, “If you want to achieve prominence in life, you can do it by pursuing knowledge and science. If you want to succeed in the afterlife, you can do it by pursuing knowledge and science. And if you want to succeed in both life and afterlife, you can still do it by pursuing knowledge and science”.

Islam commands us to seek knowledge, science and progress. For a lot of people that seek knowledge, it is only limited to acquiring a degree.

The importance of learning and science in Islam

Islam encourages us to pursue knowledge, intellect and contribute to human progress through thinking, writing and working towards breakthroughs in every field. Seeking knowledge and intellect is a way of life in Islam. It is something that we all should do in every possible way. The first word in Quran is Iqra which means read or recite. Isn’t this a clear message from God that Islam is about learning?

We as Muslims are weak because we have abandoned the core Islamic principle of seeking knowledge and science. We now think that the only learning we need to do is that which leads to a degree that qualifies for a job.

We have to read and learn about everything around us: politics, history, art, etc. We have to form our views on a solid foundation of independent thinking and objectivity.

We have to be knowledgeable and well read. We have to strive to reach the limits of intellect. A nation can only progress when values of learning, knowledge and science are sanctified and upheld.

Indeed a nation will decline once these values are ignored and demoted.

May Allah (S.W.T) guide us in seeking that knowledge.

This article is based on Dr. Amr Khaled’s lecture:

How Duaa Works – Khutbah by Nouman Ali Khan

Bishops Against Israel

By A.Z.

Some time ago, Pope Benedict XVI and Middle East Bishops were demanding that Israel accept U.N. resolutions, calling for an end to its occupation of Arab lands.

In a communiqué at the end of their two-week meeting, the bishops demanded that Israel accept United Nations’ resolutions, calling for an end to its occupation of Arab lands and told Israel it shouldn’t use the Bible to justify injustices against the Palestinians.

The Church is standing up against Israeli injustices, while our Mosque leaders are busy wasting our time, at every Friday prayer with irrelevant speeches on marginal repetitive issues.

In Islam, Mosques are not only a place of worship, they are a place where knowledge, science, debate and community issues are addressed.

Mosques should function more or less like a University, where people learn to achieve excellence in science, intellect, business, social cohesion and all other fields.

The pursuit of knowledge, science, excellence, tolerance and social cohesion, are cardinal parts of the role of the mosque.

Speak to your Mosque committee, ask them what have they done to fulfil their Islamic duty towards Muslims and Britain in the following areas:

  1. Fighting extremism and promoting tolerance.
    2. Providing educational programmes, encouraging Muslim youth to achieve excellence and success in the fields of science, business, art etc.
    3. Fighting racism.
    4. Political awareness and political activism.
    5. Enhancing Muslims integration in British society.
    6. Media engagement
    7. Fighting anti social behaviour and crime.
    8. Fighting Islamophobia and negative stereotypes.
    9. Having a fair representation of women and youth on the committee.
    10. Holding open days for non-Muslims, to promote a positive picture of Islam.

Mosques need to address these issues, because that’s what Mosques should do. The Mosque should be an educational establishment, that enlightens the wider community with tolerance, progress, partnership and excellence.

Read more: http://www.mpacuk.org/story/141110/bishops-against-israel.html#ixzz1CkX93Jdf

The founder of the first Muslim care home: Syeda Zaynab bint Ali: her productivity even when facing trials and tribulations

By A.Z.

We have all faced turmoil in our lives. We are tested. We all have to be tested.

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
Quran [2:155]: ” Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.”

Quran [3:146]: “And Allaah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient).”

Quran [39:10]: “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.”

If you were to list all the major catastrophes that you have encountered in your life, what have you lost? Why are you unhappy? Are you being ungrateful for all the blessings that you have?

The Tābi‘ūn (Followers) are the generation of Muslims who were born after the death of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, but who were contemporaries of the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet PBUH).

Let’s look at the life of an important follower. The follower is a great lady. She was tested throughout her life, with the harshest of tribulations. Her grandfather is Prophet Muhammad PBUH. She is Sayeda Zaynab bint Ali. She is the sister of Al Hassan and Al Hussein PBU them.

All the disasters in her life were tests. The more she was tested, the more she gave and contributed to society.

We all have to go through ordeals, trials and tribulations in our lives. That is life, it is a series of tests. The greater the trial, the greater the reward. We are tried by blessings, as well as by tribulations in our lives.

There is not a single person who is immune from life’s troubles. It is those who have strong faith in God that will never lose hope and will always have the strength to carry on.

Prophet Muhammad PBUH lost several of his children in his lifetime; he lost 3 of his daughters in 2 years. The Prophet was especially compassionate towards children.

When facing tribulations, you have to be patient and steadfast in your faith. If you feel defeated or depressed, use your faith to stand back on your feet. God is hope. If you lose hope, you will go down a spiral of desperation with serious consequences.

Quran 12:87:”O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith.”

Quran [94:5]: “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief.” This reiterated in [94:6]: ”Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”

Quran [65:7]: “Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.”

There is hope, keep the hope alive, use it to empower yourself and others into thinking positively and taking positive action.

The path of desperation is littered with sadness and self loathing. These are destructive feelings that can lead to very sad endings. Be resolute and determined to defy all odds. Be the positive light in peoples’ lives – Muslims and non Muslims.

Raise your children to see you as caring and revering. Be gentle and loving, follow the example of the Prophet PBUH in treating your spouse, your family and all those around you (Muslims and non Muslims) with kindness, fairness and respect.

When Sayeda Zaynab PBUH was 7, she lost her grandfather the Prophet PBUH. Six months later she lost her mother. In her mother’s last moment, she said to Sayeda Zaynab PBUH: ‘O Zaynab, your brothers Al Hassan and Al Hussein are older than you, but you have to be a mother for them.’ Her mother also told her: ‘Your grandfather the Prophet Muhammad is now dead, be a mother to Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah.’

To fulfill her mother’s will, Sayeda Zaynab PBUH – who was still a child, found herself responsible for her older brothers, her father and the entire Ummah.

When she was 10 years old, she used to invite the poor and cook for them. She became the founding pioneer of voluntary and charity work. The first Muslim care home was established by Sayeda Zaynab PBUH. She was the first Muslim to establish an orphanage.

Her father, the great Caliph Ali PBUH, would always seek to consult her. While she was young, she helped shape her father’s historic decisions that affected the history of the Islamic empire. She also influenced her brother Al Hassan’s critical decisions in the hard times that ensued.

Do you consult your mother? Your wife? Your sister? Your daughter?

Do you follow the role models of Islam in revering the women in your life?

If you don’t, you are guilty of breaching the high standards of respect for women required by Islam.

There are some Muslims who oppose paid work and voluntary work for women. How can they challenge the role of women in Islam? How can they ignore the example of the great women in Islam, who not only contributed to voluntary work, but were at its forefront as pioneers? Women in Islam work and contribute in every field of human endeavour from business and science to voluntary work.

Caliph Ali PBUH and his son Al Hassan PBUH not only valued Sayeda Zaynab’s PBUH opinions wholeheartedly; they also supported her in her voluntary work.

She was able to expand her voluntary work and opened another branch for her establishment in Kouffa. Her husband financed her work.

She lost her father, her son and her 2 brothers; she returned to Medina and was forced to leave Medina in the political turbulence that ensued. After going through all this, she established another care home for the elderly in Egypt. Her answer to the ordeals in her life was to give more compassion, love and care to others.

Can you try to be as patient and strong as she was? Can you try to be a force of goodness and compassion as she was?

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَأَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةٌ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Quran [39:10]: ‘Say: “O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah’s earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!”‘

References

This article is adapted from Dr. Amr Khaled’s lecture, he is an Egyptian televangelist. His work influenced Arab youth and has contributed to the calls for change in the Middle East.

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ 

2:155 Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,

“And Allaah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:146]

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning”
[al-Zumar 39:10]
http://www.islamicteachings.org/forum/topic/10890-the-reward-for-losing-a-child-and-being-patient/

Prophet Muhammad PBUH lost several of his children in his lifetime; he lost 3 of his daughters in 2 years. The Prophet was especially compassionate towards children

Here is essential reading on the special status of women in Islam. http://www.islamic-message.net/admin/Books/Women_in_Islam.pdf

This article is adapted from Amr Khaled’s lecture. http://www.youtube.com/user/AmrKhaled?blend=3&ob=5#p/a/u/0/HNeCIxbnhGo

Amr Khaled is an Egyptian televangelist. His work influenced Arab youth and has contributed to the calls for change in the Middle East. He was voted as one of the most influential people in the world by Times Magazine.

A Just Ruler Is In The Shade Of The Throne of Allah

By A.Z.

Prophet Mohammad PBUH emphasised how Allah values a just ruler when he said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allaah’; a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allaah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Allah says in the Quran (5:8): “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealings and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to piety. Fear Allah, indeed Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.”

We can learn a lot from looking at an incident that surrounds Amr Ibn Al Aas, who was a companion of the Prophet PBUH and also the ruler of Egypt under the rightly guided Caliph Umar Ibn al -Khattab.

A man from the Copts (Copts are Egyptian Christians) came to Umar ibn al-Khattab in Al-Madinah and said: “O Commander of the Faithful! I seek refuge in you from oppression.” Umar RA replied: “You have sought refuge where it is to be sought.” The Egyptian (Copt) said: “I was racing the son of ‘Amr ibn al-’Aas, and I defeated him. Then he (the son of Amr Ibn Al Aas) began to beat me with a whip saying: I am the Son of Nobles! (He is referring to the fact that his father is a companion of the Prophet and the ruler of Egypt).”

As a result, Umar RA (the Caliph) wrote to Amr (the ruler of Egypt) commanding him to come with his son. When they came to Umar he inquired: “Where is the Egyptian (Copt)?” And then said: “The Egyptian (Copt) has to take the whip and beat your son Amr!” Consequently, the Egyptian began actually to beat the son of Amr with the whip while, Umar RA says to him: “Beat the Son of Nobles!”

Anas said, “So he beat him. I swear by Allah, as he was beating him, we all pitied his wailing. He did not desist until we stopped him.” Then Umar told the Copt to beat Amr. He (the Copt) replied: “O Commander of the Faithful! It was his son who beat me, and I have evened the score with him.”

Caliph Umar RA’s famous quote encapsulates the essence of justice in Islam, “Since when do you enslave the people when their mothers bore them as free?”. Amr said: “O Commander of the Faithful! I was unaware of this, and he (the Copt) did not come to me (seeking justice).”

The lesson learnt here is that Islam is an egalitarian religion where Muslims and non Muslims have equal rights. The model of leadership presented by the Prophet Mohammad PBUH and the rightly guided Caliphs, exemplifies how Muslim leaders should rule with Islamic values, of justice, meritocracy, equality etc. Thus this necessitates that we hold our rulers and politicians accountable if they fail to apply these values, whether deliberately or not. Holding politicians to account and opposing their wrong doing is an important part of our Islamic duties to forbid evil. The Ummah (Muslim nation) is in such a sad state of affairs because we allowed corrupt incompetent and criminal dictators to rule us.

One of the biggest enemies of Muslims is the dictatorial tyrannical governments that are ruling Muslim countries. These tyrants are a plague on Muslims. They are an obstacle to progress and development. These corrupt regimes are obstacles to science, justice and progress.

May the Arab Spring succeed in toppling corrupt governments and shake the thrones of tyrants.

Palestinians commemorate Prophet’s birth in Al-Quds

AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — Palestinian Muslims on Tuesday marked the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Hundreds took part in the celebration, which was organized by Jerusalem’s Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority.

The event saw sermons delivered by Mohamed Hussein, mufti of Jerusalem; Wasif al-Bakri, supreme Sharia judge for Jerusalem; and Yasser Abu Ghazaleh, an advisor to the endowments authority.

The celebration was overseen by Youssef Abu Sneineh, the imam (preacher) of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Muslims around the world mark the Prophet’s birthday on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awwal, the third month on the Islamic calendar.

The day is a public holiday in several Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Palestine and in some parts of India.

Prophet Muhammad passed away at the age of 63 — on the same day as his birth — in the city of Medina in the year 632 AD.

(Source / 21.11.2018)

International Union of Muslim scholars ‘rejects normalisation with Israel and calls for release of prisoners of conscience’

International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Secretary General Ali Al-Qaradaghi

International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Secretary General Ali Al-Qaradaghi

The International Union of Muslim Scholars called on Thursday to reject the normalisation categorically with the Israeli entity.

This came in the concluding statement of the fifth session of the General Assembly in Istanbul that more than 1,500 scholars from more than 80 countries attended throughout six days. The meeting is the largest in the history of the Union regarding the number of participants.

The Union also called for the release of prisoners of conscience and advice, especially scholars in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and for a comprehensive reconciliation within the Islamic Ummah which suffers from a severe division among all its components.

The statement, read by the Secretary-General of the Union, Ali al-Qaradaghi, stressed that “the sanctity of blood must be preserved against murder and fighting among Muslims, and assaults on the lives, money and honour should be criminalised.”

Read: US, Israel ‘concerned’ Bin Salman may be unable to advance normalisation

It stressed the need to uphold unity, peaceful coexistence and civilised communication, and warned of the danger of separation and division.

According to the statement, the present scholars emphasised the belief in cultural and religious pluralism, away from all disputes of hegemony and the use of force in resolving international disputes, and called for civilisational dialogue instead of conflict.

They also emphasised the right to difference, responsible freedom and justice in rights and duties. The statement stressed the call for disciplined freedom, justice, eliminating injustice and tyranny by legitimate peaceful means, and the right of peoples to their freedom, dignity, and self-determination. They also stressed the importance of resistance to all forms of tyranny and exploitation, and the means of injustice and arrogance, and claimed that resistance should abide by the legitimate peaceful methods and find support from all liberation forces, according to the statement.

In its statement, the International Union of Muslim Scholars urged states which have prisoners of conscience and advice to release them, especially “Union scholars in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”  The Union believed that the Ummah should move towards comprehensive transformation by reforming its political system to be rational, based on justice and freedom, and improving its educational system in a manner that keeps up with the time and eliminates underdevelopment, addition to the need to reform its jurisprudential system to achieve renewal, its economic system to achieve comprehensive development, eliminate poverty and unemployment, and its social system.

The statement referred to the Palestinian cause saying that it is and will remain the first issue of Muslims all over the world, and it is going today through a critical historical phase and a dangerous crossroads.

It added that Al-Quds Al-Sharif is exposed to Judaization, and Zionists are constantly storming and threatening Al-Aqsa Mosque, and trying to divide it temporally and spatially. We stress that Jerusalem and its cause have a religious, historical and civilisational status. It is the heart of the Islamic Ummah and its dignity. All the projects of the Jewish occupation will not change the fact that Jerusalem is for the Islamic and Arab Ummah.

Read: Normalisation with Arabs then peace says Netanyahu

The Union called on “Arab and Islamic governments, and scientific and civil institutions to bear the entrusted responsibility towards the sanctities of the nation and its major issues, and to categorically reject normalisation.” It considered that “resisting the occupier is a legitimate right in all heavenly laws and international covenants.”Al-Qaradaghi considered that “the legendary steadfastness is the beginning of the liberation of the Palestinian land and holy sites.” He appealed to “the Islamic Ummah in all its components to support this great struggling person.” He called for “the importance of making efforts and the need to confront injustice against our brothers in Myanmar, China and other areas.”As for minorities, the Union praised “states that protect their rights in Europe and elsewhere.” It condemned violence, segregation and terrorism wherever it was, and denounced “inciting nationalistic feelings, racism, racial discrimination and Islamophobia.”

The Union called on “the Muslim minority to abide by the requirements of citizenship, the performance of duties, the respect of laws, and the orientation towards useful sciences and influential actions.”

On Thursday, the Union’s Board of Trustees re-elected Ali Mohieddin Al-Qaradaghi, Secretary-General of the Union, according to Anadolu sources. On Wednesday, the Union elected the Moroccan Ahmad Al-Raysuni as a President of the Union, successor to Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, according to sources in the Union.

More than 1,500 scholars from more than 80 countries participated in the General Assembly, the largest meeting of participants since the founding of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in 2004. The International Union of Muslim Scholars is a famous Islamic institution, founded in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland, and includes members from countries of the Muslim world, minorities and Islamic groups abroad.

It is a non-governmental institution with a legal personality and a private budget. In 2011, the headquarters of the Union was moved to the Qatari capital of Doha, by a decision of the Executive Council of the Union. The Union manages the General Assembly, the Board of Trustees, the Executive Office, the Presidency of the Union and the Secretariat. It aims to be a fundamental reference to the theory and rationalisation of the civilised project of the Muslim Ummah in the context of its peaceful coexistence with the rest of humanity.

(Source / 09.11.2018)

European Court ruling on insulting Prophet Muhammad ‘reinforces right of religious belief’

European Court of Human Rights

The Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights (Hayat Haq) has expressed its support for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which considered that insulting the Prophet Muhammad does not fall under the framework of freedom of expression.

The Integrity Foundation said in a statement that “the European Court’s decision reinforces the freedom and rights of religious belief, one of the pillars of freedom in democratic societies governed by law”.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that “insulting the Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – does not fall within the freedom of expression, and considered that the conviction of an Austrian court for a woman accused of insulting the Holy Prophet does not violate the right to freedom of expression, nor Chapter X of the European Charter of Human Rights”.

READ: Germany suspends training for Saudi forces

The Integrity Foundation explained that the decision of the European Court comes in the context of encouraging the protection of and respect for the religious feelings of Muslims and functions mainly to promote community peace.

The Foundation noted that the European Court “has cleared up the distinction between the right to freedom of expression and what is considered an infringement of this right and the abuse of religious feelings of individuals and communities”.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights came in support of a judicial ruling issued in Austria in 2009 against an Austrian woman who the regional courts fined €480 ($548), in addition to litigation charges, for the abuse of Prophet Muhammad.

(Source / 27.10.2018)

Tunisia’s Ennahda slams calls to boycott Hajj

Supporters of the boycott argue that the Hajj ritual has become too expensive

Muslim Hajj pilgrims try to touch Kaaba stone as they circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 22 August, 2017 [Fırat Yurdakul/Anadolu Agency]

Muslim Hajj pilgrims try to touch Kaaba stone as they circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 22 August, 2017

Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement has decried calls aimed to urge Muslims to boycott the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Calls have recently grown in Tunisia demanding the issuance of a fatwa to prevent Tunisians from going to the holy lands in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj ritual.

Supporters argue that the ritual has become too expensive and that revenues are being used by Saudi authorities to stage wars in Muslim countries.

“These are isolated and ideological calls that only serve personal purposes,” Ennahda said in a statement.

It warned that such calls would lead to strain relations between Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Last year, nearly 11,000 Tunisian pilgrims performed the annual ritual, which costs around 12,000 Tunisian dinars ($4,583 USD).

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab coalition that launched a massive air campaign in 2015 against Shia Houthi rebels, which overran much of Yemen, including capital Sanaa a year earlier.

(Source / 01.07.2018)

Turkey: 90 years on foundation of Muslim Brotherhood

Ibrahim Mounir – 90 years on foundation of Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood group yesterday commemorated its 90th anniversary in the Turkish capital of Istanbul under the slogan “90 Years of Giving.”

The commemoration ceremony was attended by dozens of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders from around the world, including Ibrahim Mounir, the group’s deputy leader, the former head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashal, in addition to thousands of the group members from various Arabic countries.

Since its inception on 22 March 1928, many of the Brotherhood members and leaders have been arrested and held in prisons of the Arab rulers, under the pretext that the group is involved in several terrorist attacks that are being carried out around the world.

Arab regimes, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have named the Islamist group as “terrorist group.” Many of the group’s members and leaders under a travel ban.

The Brotherhood has a presence in 52 Arabic, European, Asian and African countries. It also has presence in North and South America and Australia, according to historical and organisational sources.

(Source / 02.04.2018)

#3rdMarch1924 – 93 years without the Caliphate

[For a detailed historical insight into the fall of the Caliphate watch the video above, 1914; The shaping of the Modern Muslim World by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi]

“We must put an end to anything which brings about any Islamic unity between the sons of the Muslims. The situation now is that Turkey is dead and will never rise again, because we have destroyed its moral strength, the Caliphate and Islām.”

“This bold statement, or rather stark warning, was allegedly made by the former British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, at the House of Commons after the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, when the Ottomans were defeated in World War One. The reason why Lord Curzon’s statement should be taken with so much weight (if it is true) is because it correlates with the following ḥadīth of Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“The knots of Islām will be undone one by one, each time a knot is undone the next one will be grasped, the first to be undone will be the ruling and the last will be the prayer.”[2]

Today marks 93 years since the destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate, heralding arguably the darkest chapter in Islamic history after the death of Rasūl’Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). The Ummah continues to suffer from the after-effects of this calamitous event, for the very reason, which Lord Curzon mentioned – the Muslims currently have no collective “moral strength”, which is embodied in the form of an inclusive Islamic polity. The Middle East and North Africa were subsequently carved up between Britain and France, as Mark Sykes and Francois Georges Picot planned the future of the former Ottoman territories with a pen and ruler. What followed since was an uninterrupted chain of secular dictatorships and petrol rich sheikhdoms. Many of these regimes came to power via military coups, dressed up as pseudo-liberators, whilst the Gulf monarchies unashamedly enjoyed the fruits of their forefathers’ betrayal during WW1.

The history lesson aside, the concept of the Caliphate, and the general Muslim populous’ desire for it, continues to be maligned by academics, journalists, Western policy makers and governments. Secular liberals and modernists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, from across the political spectrum, appear to have adopted the attitude of Lord Curzon, but with rehashed rhetoric that a Caliphate is simply incompatible with the modern world, rendering it barbaric and despotic. The irony is that they all seem to conveniently forget that for over a thousand years Islamic civilisation under successive Caliphates, from the Umayyads to the Ottomans, led humanity in science, philosophy, arts and technology. Furthermore, agenda-driven critics and muscular ideologues also overlook that not only did every Caliphate have the trappings of a modern state, but they were the beacon and example of modernity for their relevant period in history. Again, I cannot do justice in explaining Islām’s contribution to the world as we know it today, when libraries are filled with books and historical testimonies of non-Muslims who substantiate this undeniable fact.

Also read: The Caliphate Chicken & Egg

However, it must be stated from the onset that the Caliphate is not regarded as a utopian state, conceptually or in practice. This was never the case when Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) ruled over Madīna, or when the Khulafāh Rāshidūn (Rightly Guided Caliphs) expanded the Caliphate, or those that came after. In fact, when the Caliphate entered hereditary rule and kingship, there were cases of internal corruption, theological deviation and infighting. Rather, this polity is what followed the end of Prophethood, and the practical manifestation of Allāh’s (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) divine law on Earth. This is evident in the following ḥadīth of Rasūl’Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“The Prophets used to manage the political affairs of Banī Isrāīl. Whenever a Prophet died another Prophet succeeded him, but there will be no Prophets after me; instead there will be Caliphs, and they will number many”. The Companions asked: what then do you order us? He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “fulfil allegiance to them one after the other. Give them their dues. Verily Allāh will ask them about what He entrusted them with”.[3]

The virtues and societal conditions sought from the Caliphate, deduced from the classical scholars after scrutinising the Sharīʿah, is to establish social justice, to protect the honour and property of its citizens, and the preservation of the Islamic way of life. Now this may be a sour grape for the intolerant ‘tolerant’ who stubbornly comprehend the Islamic system through the lenses of a secular paradigm, assuming that liberal democracy is the default benchmark against which every governing system should be compared to. But there is also a political context to this ideological objection of the Caliphate, and that is the conflation of Europe’s systematic separation of the ‘Church and state’. This period of secularisation, which is symbolised in the era known as the ‘Enlightenment’, has never occurred in the Muslim world during the existence of a Caliphate, nor would it be befitting.

Those that attempt and conflate Islām and western Christianity under the arbitrary term “religion” invariably superimpose the pre-reformation Christian historical baggage onto Islām. The fact of the matter is that Islamic history is not plagued with the same repressive church-like institutions that stifled human advancement, and the classical Islamic governance already secured the rights that the Enlightenment sought to secure, and more. The notion of a Caliph is an employee that represents and is accountable to the people, and Islamic history shows a level of accountability that we still have not yet seen in Western politics. Despite this, there were attempts during the 19thcentury to minimise the legislative powers of the Caliph, and to modernise certain aspects of the declining Ottoman Caliphate, to make it more ‘palatable’ with its thriving European contemporaries; but the idea of a systematic separation of “religion and state” was unthinkable.

Additionally, Islām’s worldview that was represented by the Caliphate had always clashed with other empires it encountered; from the Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Crusaders, right up to the imperial powers of Europe. Hence, after the destruction of the Caliphate on 3rd March 1924, Christian Europe had successfully eradicated the only superpower that it had been in a constant state of conflict with for nearly a millenium. Of course, Europe had suffered centuries of bloody internal wars, but the fight against the ‘Mohammedans’ was a unique one due to the cultural and religious dissimilarity.

After the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1989, Francis Fukuyama had arrogantly stated that humanity had reached the “end of history” – implying that liberal democracy was the only natural form of government to have survived the testing waves of global change.[4] Fukuyama was clearly naive in his assessment of the world, because he assumed that in the absence of the Caliphate, the Islamic mind would also be non-existent – he was grossly mistaken. The 9/11 attacks, and the subsequent US-led ‘war on terror’ that followed is a testimony to this. After the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rise of armed groups in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, it became unavoidably clear that the desire for the return of the Caliphate was very much existent. The Arab Spring, or what remains of it, is another example of the Islamic sentiment of the general Muslim masses in wanting Islām to play a greater role in society. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and more evidently in Syria, are prime examples of this. The revolutions which spread like wildfire in 2011 initially began as a grassroots movement, in order to attain self-determination in a region, which had been ruled by Western-backed dictators for decades. Unfortunately, with the interference of Western powers and their regional proxies, the sincere efforts of those who lost their lives during the uprisings, had been sidelined and forgotten by political opportunists in search for power. Naturally, cosmetic changes were made to the ‘new’ post-Arab Spring countries, but in nearly every case, the oppressive regimes and state apparatus remained.

The emergence of the group known as ISIS, which claimed to have restored the Caliphate on 29 June 2014, was a dream come true for the West. The former chief of the British Armed forces, Sir General Richard Dannatt, justified the occupation of Afghanistan, and Britain’s involvement in the war on terror by stating that it was to prevent:

“…the historic Islamic caliphate, running through south Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and up through south and south-east Europe.”[5]

Lo and behold, the West had at last found its medieval Caliphate in the form of ISIS, which in reality was a doctor’s sick note to continue its destructive foreign policy in the Middle East. The criminality of ISIS has been used as a stick by Western politicians to beat the Muslims with, and a tool to demonise the noble concept of the Caliphate. The media continues to refer to ISIS as an “Islamic State”, knowing that the majority of Muslims, including likeminded groups who share the same goal, have unequivocally rejected their claim to the Caliphate.

The abhorrent actions of ISIS cannot be used to pressure Muslims into rejecting the concept of the Caliphate for two very simple reasons. Firstly, there is a unanimous consensus amongst classical and contemporary scholars within Sunni Islām, that the Caliphate is the ideal form of governance for Muslims, and to work for its re-establishment is an obligation. However, Muslims will inevitably differ in the methodology of how the Caliphate should be restored due to theological and political differences, but the scriptural evidences and scholarly works emphasising its importance is too overpowering. Secondly, the fact that Rasūl’Allāh’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) burial was delayed until a Caliph was appointed could not have been a more significant indication of how serious the Companions (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) took the matter of the Caliphate. “The aforementioned reasons, coupled with the dire situation the Muslim world is currently in, as a result of seeking liberation by adopting failed secular ideologies, the only real option remaining for the Ummah is to return to a system which, for all its previous mistakes, protected Islām and safeguarded its citizens from harm.

Those who are adamant that the Caliphate is incompatible with the modern world, and to anticipate its return is a romanticised idea, need to appreciate from an Islamic perspective, that the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) has prophesised its permanent return,[6] and Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has promised the Muslims authority on Earth.[7]

Notes:

[1] Musnad Aḥmed, ḥadīth no.31

[2] Saḥīḥ Muslim

[3] https://ps321.community.uaf.edu/files/2012/10/Fukuyama-End-of-history-article.pdf

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/dec/20/faces-2009-richard-dannatt-tory

[5] Musnad Aḥmed, ḥadīth no 273[6] Al-Qur’ān, 24:55

This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2016

(Source / 03.03.2018)