AN AWFUL PUNISHMENT IN BARZAKH

Muljim is Punished-
Hadhrat Ismat Ubaadaan (rahmatullah alayh) narrated the following episode:
“On my sojourn through a wilderness, I approached a monastery. A Raahib (Monk) was sitting nearby. I said to him: ‘Tell me of any wonderful episode you have witnessed at this place.’ The Raahib replied: ‘One day I saw a strange white bird the size of an ostrich on this rock. The bird vomited, and with its vomit emerged a human head. It continued vomiting, and human feet appeared. In this manner with each vomiting a human limb would be disgorged. As the limbs emerged from the bird’s mouth, they miraculously became joined until a complete man was formed. When the man made a movement to rise, the bird began the process of dismembering him and devoured limb by limb until the entire body of the man was gulped up. This episode was enacted for several days.
   This episode reinforced my firm belief in the power of Allah Ta’ala. I was fully convinced that after death Allah Ta’ala will resurrect the dead bodies. One day I addressed the bird and said: ‘O Bird! For Allah’s sake, wait for a while to enable me to question the man. The bird responded in eloquent Arabic: ‘The entire universe is the property of my Creator. He is eternal. He will annihilate all things. There is no annihilation for Him. I am an Angel appointed to punish this man.’
I then addressed the man: ‘O sinful man! Who are you? What is your story?’ The man said: ‘I am Abdur Rahmaan Muljim the murderer of Hadhrat Ali (Karramallaahu wajhah). After I was executed, my soul was presented to Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala has appointed this Angel to punish me in this manner until Qiyaamah.’”

Greater Israel and The fourth industrial revolution

INTRODUCTION
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
All praises are due solely to Allah Ta’ala, the one who raised His final messenger among the Arabs. Peace and salutations be upon our master Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam the one who ordered the expulsion of the Jews from the Arabian Peninsula. Three Gulf States, namely Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain are currently on a campaign to expunge the religion of Islam from all aspects of life in a bid to appease the apartheid regime of Israel. Concerts and cinemas have sprouted up in Saudi Arabia while the largest temple outside of India has been inaugurated by the UAE government. Saudi Arabia is removing all content from Islamic literature that is deemed “Anti-Semitic” while the UAE is funding various wars and think-tanks across the globe to curb and curtail anything to do with Islam. The de facto rulers of Saudi Arabia and UAE, MBS (Murtad Bin Shaytaan) and MBZ have nothing to do with Islam. They are on a mission to satanise the Arabian Peninsula in conjunction with the apartheid regime of Israel and the Masjid-demolishing regime of India. We have been explicitly prohibited from befriending the Kuffaar and adopting their ways and customs. This will lead to our downfall and destruction in both this world and the hereafter.
The example of Sri Lanka has been brought to the attention of the reader in the Ummati Ummati book. The Sri Lankan Muslims hosted open Masjid days in which Buddhists would come to the Masaajid and pollute the Houses of Allah Ta’ala. The Muslims also desecrated the Masaajid with masks. The consequence was forced cremation of Muslim Mayyits. The Muslims could do nothing but watch the bodies of their fathers, mothers etc. being incinerated and burnt to ashes. Maulana Ebrahim Bham of Fordsburg Jamiat, in an attempt to bamboozle us, made the following foolish statement:
“Assimilate or be annihilated”
May Allah Ta’ala make this book a means of us abstaining from befriending the Kuffaar and following their ways and customs. Ameen.

Was Hadith Written 200 years after the Prophet[Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa sallam]

a detailed rebuttal of the the theory of late recording of Hadith

by Berke Khan

By the name of Allah I begin. I praise Him, I seek His help, I seek His forgiveness. And I bear witness that there is no God except the Almighty. And I bear witness that Muhammad was His final and last messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. And to proceed;
This document serves as a guide for Muslims on how they can make sure that Sunnah and Hadith are essential part of the religion of Islam and was preserved by Allah just like the Quran. It is a methodology I humbly suggest for people, on how to look through the matter. And to refute one of the famous arguments Hadith rejectors often use. I will present a collection of information from reliable sources. I will only be making some brief comments around the suggested topics where I find necessary. And you may verify the things I put here. And may peace be upon those who follow correct guidance…

Does Abū Ḥanīfah Reject Sound Ḥadīth in Order to Formulate Legal Rulings?

A Study of Abū Ḥanīfah’s Usūl and His Competency in Ḥadīth
By:Eissa Dar

Nu’mān Bin Thābit, better known by his kunyah, Abū Ḥanīfah, has been subject to much criticism due to his supposed lack of knowledge in Ḥadīth and Ḥadīth studies. The methodology of the Ḥanafīs has been similarly scrutinized as it is infamously known to diverge from the other schools in their methodological usage of the sources in deriving legal rulings. Where the other orthodox schools use a methodology derived from al-Shāfi’ī’s combination of the reports and opinion, Abū Ḥanīfah is known to have ruled from the Qur’ān more-so than from the reports. A particular aspect of the discussion is the idea that he took his own opinion over the clear textual sources of the Sunnah i.e. the Ḥadīth reports. However, what has been overlooked is the way in which Abū Ḥanīfah used the Ḥadīth and how he understood them. Rather than having a weakness in Ḥadīth, as purported by some, Abū Ḥanīfah had a unique understanding of Ḥadīth, and subjected them to great scrutiny in order to derive the truest rendition of God’s law on earth. Rather than a detraction from Prophetic reports, it seems that there has been a lack of understanding when it comes to the Usūl of Abū Ḥanīfah.

AALAMGHIR

Aalamghir (Aurangzab, the Moghul Emperor) used to personally write the Qur’aan Shareef. Once a man pointed out an error. Alamghir made a mark by the word (conveying the impression that he would correct it later). After the departure of the man, Aalamghir erased the mark and explained that what he had written was correct. However, to avoid hurting the man’s feelings Aalamghir pretended that he had erred. The king said that if he had immediately rejected the man’s claim, he would in future refrain from presenting advice. He (Aalamghir) did not want to reduce his number of advisors.
Aalamghir was a man of lofty spiritual excellences and accomplishments). He was a Saahib-e-Nisbat (one who enjoys a special bond of Divine Proximity). Towards the end of his life he instructed that his kafan should not be acquired with the money he had earned by his trade. He did not want the money earned from selling Qur’aan copies to be used for his kafan although the Ulama had issued the fatwa of permissibility. Nevertheless, overtly it resembled selling the aayat of Allah Ta’ala. He, therefore, did not wish to meet Allah Ta’ala with such kafan in which there was the slightest vestige of doubt.
Muhammad Qali was a close attendant of Aalamghir. Once Aalamghir, while calling him, exclaimed: ‘Qali!’ The servant immediately arrived with a jug of water. The king made wudhu.
A guest who was present was very surprised. How did the servant know that Aalamghir required water for wudhu? The king had not mentioned this nor was it time for wudhu. When he enquired the servant said: “My name is Muhammad Qali. On account of the king’s profound respect, he never calls me with half my name. He always calls me by my full name. Today when he omitted the name Muhammad, I understood that the king was without wudhu. He therefore, refrained from mentioning the word, Muhammad. (From this could be gauged the profound respect and veneration the king had for Rasulullah — sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Subhaanallah! Attributes such as the respect of Aalamghir and the intelligence of the servant are now non-existent.

Can the Afghan Taliban learn from their greatest Sheikh?

BY: Ammar Anwer September 28, 2021

According to Husain Ahmad Madani, only a draconian state could enforce Islamic conformity given Muslims’ own diversity

“Muslims today remember only the word ‘jihad’, but they do not remember that in opposition to rebels against Islam and enemies of the community…. patience, forbearance, and high ethics were spoken of as jihad-i akbar (‘the greater jihad’). In this greater jihad, there is no need of sword or dagger, but only strength, resolve, and action”[i].

Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (1879–1957) was one of the most important Muslim figures in the history of twentieth-century South Asia. He was a traditionally educated Islamic scholar who studied at the Darul ‘Ulum at Deoband, the” madrasa” (seminary) that gives the “Deobandi” sectarian orientation its name. The American Historian and expert on the Islamic thought in South Asia, Barbara Metcalf has offered an incisive and incredible account of the life of Maulana Madani (Maulana is an honorific title for an Islamic scholar), covering both his political activism, as well as his spiritual and religious contributions[ii]. As I was reading through her meticulously researched account, I realised how great a debt we Easterners owe to these inquisitive orientalists who have brought those historical figures back to the mainstream academic discourse which we ourselves had long forgotten. Madani is indeed a much-remembered and much cited-figure amongst the Deobandi Seminaries, but within the larger public atmosphere in India and Pakistan, he remains somewhat unknown.

Madani started his political activism with his involvement in the India’s nationalist movement. He joined the Gandhian non-cooperation movement at its inception, dressing in the handloomed cloth popularised by Gandhi as a symbol of resistance. From 1916 to India’s independence in 1947, he was arrested at least once every decade.

Although religiously a traditionalist, he was quite novel in his political imagination. As the Indian independence approached, Madani stood fervently opposed to those Muslims who campaigned for a separate homeland for Muslims. Instead, he argued that Muslims could live as observant Muslims in a religiously plural society where they would be full citizens of an independent, secular India. He insisted that the fundamental institution of contemporary political life was the territorial nation state and that the political culture of the day was one of citizen-based civic and human rights. He criticized the idea of organizing a polity on Islamic grounds, dismissing it as unrealistic. His uniqueness rests in his being both a political activist and an influential Islamic scholar who was able to frame his advocacy of modern territorial nationalism within the context of Islamic traditions.

His support for territorial nationhood landed him into dispute with certain other Islamic thinkers of his time, most notably the poet and Philosopher and the chief ideologue of Muslim territorial autonomy in the Subcontinent, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, and the then emerging Islamist scholar Syed Abul Ala Maududi.

Iqbal strongly denounced Madani’s views, accusing him of misinterpreting Islam. He wrote three vitriolic Persian couplets:

“The non-Arab (‘ajam) still does not know the secrets of the faith

Thus from Deoband Husain Ahmad proves somewhat strange

Singing out high on the pulpit

That millat is based on land (watan).

What does he know of the stance of the Arab Messenger, on whom be peace?

Bring yourself close to Mustafa, for his alone is faith complete

If you cannot approach him you’re just an Abu Lahab!”[iii]

This was quite presumptuous for many a reason. First, it suggested that Madani being a non-Arab (Ajami) did not quite understand Arabic- this being said about someone who taught Islamic and Arabic disciplines in the foremost Indian Seminary, and whose mastery of Arabic language was never contested even by those scholars who disagreed with him on certain theological matters.

Second, it made a false equivalence between “millat’’, a term reserved for religious community, and “Qaum” which simply translates into nation. Madani had never asserted that “millat” derived from homeland- he always acknowledged that within the Muslims there existed a much stronger and special bond given their religious affinity. What he had stated is that one’s nationality in the present epoch is determined by one’s homeland, and not religious leanings.

Third, worst of all, it equated Madani to Prophet Mohammad’s arch-rival, his own paternal uncle who rejected his message and was given the nickname of “Abu Lahab” (“Father of the Flame),”. The Qur’an mentions that he has been condemned till eternity “to roast at a flaming fire” (Sura CXI).

Iqbal invoked him purposely, given the fact that Abu Lahab’s name also serves as a byword for Arabic linguistic eloquence coupled with the greatest moral/intellectual failure any human can make, the rejection of the Prophet of Islam. Thus, according to Iqbal, even if Madani was a master of Arabic language, it did not count for much- since if linguistic eloquence alone could have helped someone to come to the truth, then Abu Lahab would have done so too.

Metcalf notes that “Since Maulana Madani was in fact a master of Arabic and Iqbal was not, Iqbal was undercutting an obvious criticism of his own authority before it was even made.[iv]” Thus, Madani, with all his expertise of Arabic, could still be wrong and Iqbal, with his very elementary knowledge, might still be right.

This dialogue culminated in a book that Madani published in 1938, entitled “Composite Nationalism and Islam”, where he couched his support for a multicultural and multi-religious society within the framework of Islamic traditions and history. Addressing Iqbal’s distrust of his Arabic competence, he quite fittingly entitled the first substantive sub-heading of his book: “The key to Qur’anic vocabulary and the words of Hadith will come only from the Arabic tongue”[v].

“Approximately the first half of his treatise then proceeded to a meticulous examination of texts, provided both in Arabic and in Urdu translation, scrutinized in the light of Arabic usage as known from grammars and dictionaries of the Prophet’s own time, in order to deny what he saw as Iqbal’s equation of ‘‘qaum” and” millat””[vi].

He argued that in the Prophet’s usage a “qaum” (nation) could consist of believers and unbelievers who both act together for a common purpose—and that would be the model for the” qaum” (nation) of India.

He persuasively argued in favour of a multi-religious India by profusely citing passages from the Qur’an, which showed that the prophets shared the same territory with the people who rejected their message, and yet that did not make them two separate nations. According to Madani, the very spirit of the Qur’an is to encourage harmonious co-existence in a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious world. To lend further credibility to his ideas, he cited the charter of Medina, created by the Prophet Mohammad upon his arrival in Medina, in which he unified Muslims, Jews, and Christians into a single nation. According to Madani, the Prophet of Islam himself created a constitution which unified people of different faiths into one nation, declaring them to constitute one community (“ummah”) separate from the people outside of the city.

Madani was not the first to cite the constitution of Medina as a justification for a multi-religious state. Before him, another Indian Scholar, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, had also done the same. Like Madani, Azad was also both an Islamic theologian and a political leader. He served twice as the President of All India National Congress, and after the independence, became the first education minister of India.

Both Madani and Azad were heavily criticised by Maududi, who at the time was developing his own Islamist political theory. Maududi dismissed the constitution of Medina as a mere political compromise made by the Prophet, which possessed no seminal status when it comes to the real ethos of an Islamic state. Maududi, unlike Madani, argued that non-Muslims can only have the status of “dhimmis” (protected citizens) in an Islamic state, and that also on the condition that they agree to pay the annual protection tax called “Jizya”. Furthermore, he regarded the entire notion of modern territorial nation-states as alien to Islam and considered secularism as the first step towards atheism.

Addressing Maududi’s criticism, Madani said that theory like his gets you nowhere. “Siyasiyyat (politics) is not resolved through falsafiyyat (philosophy)”, he wrote[vii]. For Madani, the reality of the day was the anti-colonial and constitutional movement. Maududi’s effort to propose “an Islamic order” was both abstract and unrealistic. He argued further that given that among Muslims themselves there is hardly consensus on religious grounds: just what would Islamic rule mean? He provided a list of different sects and orientations within Islam and pointed out that each “considers his reasoning beyond that of Plato or Socrates”[viii].

Therefore, to maintain harmony in society, Madani argued, it is best that all different Islamic schools adopt persuasion, guidance, and advice as their only modus operandi. According to Madani, only a draconian state could enforce Islamic conformity given Muslims’ own diversity. Thus, it is clear that Madani’s opposition to Islamist politics was not simply based on the fact that Muslims were a minority in India, which made Islamic rule in the country improbable through pure democratic means. In fact, even in a predominantly Muslim state, he believed, there could be no agreement on the precise nature of Islamic rule, and therefore such activism is from the onset destined to incite religious tensions.

Madani also objected, in principle, to the assumption that there were Islamic “laws,” in the sense of absolute universals that were equally valid in all times and place. He commented that Maududi must be living in a fanciful world, a world where he could conveniently disregard the facts of India’s mixed and heterogeneous population.

“How could he imagine enforcing the rules he drew from theoretical premises, like the criminal penalties (stoning, prohibition, or monetary compensation for murder) that were typically enacted by any ruler claiming to be guided by Islamic law?”[ix]

Madani concluded that such rules are neither applicable nor morally obligatory in a country like India.

Maududi, dismayed by the Indian Ulamas’ support for religious pluralism, eventually threw his support behind the Pakistan movement.

Madani’s noble efforts to prevent partition of India on religious grounds ultimately failed when in August 1947, the subcontinent was divided into Hindu-majority India, and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Madani advised the Deobandi scholars who migrated to Pakistan to remain loyal to their new country and dreamt of a peaceful co-existence between the two nations (alas! that too has not happened hitherto).

Ironically, the Deoband scholars in the Pakistan started to campaign for Islamisation very soon, and in the 70s and 80s actively participated in the Afghan Jihad against Soviet occupation. Their attitude, therefore, became quite different from the Indian Deoband, which still strongly supports a secular structure. According to some scholars, Pakistani Deobandis, under the aegis of Pakistani Military and Saudi Riyals, became strongly infused with Wahhabism, and thus diverged from the Classical Islam that the Indian Deoband still adheres to. According to this theory, after the Iranian revolution in 1979, Saudi Arabia was worried that the Muslim world would be dominated by a Shia country — Iran. So, they started funding seminaries which taught Wahhabi-styled Islam throughout the Muslim world, including Pakistan. Wahhabi influence continuously grew in Pakistan and Afghanistan throughout the 1980s, when the CIA and Saudi Arabia both funneled arms to mujahideen guerrilla groups fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the Cold War. Thus, slowly, the Wahhabi culture entered into Deobandi Islam.

The Afghan Taliban also follows the Deobandi Islam, and most of its leadership consists of graduates from Deobandi seminaries, including in particular the famous (or infamous) seminary Dar al-Ulum Haqqania, which is based in the town of Akora Khattak, in Northwestern Pakistan.

But the Taliban, much like most of their Pakistani associates, do not subscribe to the inclusive and democratised form of Islam that Madani supported. Though they continue to revere him, their methods display a sharp contrast to what Madani had struggled to disseminate. In the oddest of twists, the spiritual descendants of a scholar who according to Peter Hardy was the first to justify from within the Islamic traditions the concept of equal citizenship and participation in the state with non-Muslims (which was an exceptional change from what had existed in Medieval Islam)[x], became the very opposite; unwavering in their commitment to accord second-class status to non-Muslims, and eager to employ violence as their means to attain religious and political authority.

Today, the world expects from Taliban to create an inclusive government- a government that speaks for all sections of Afghan population. Though, no one would normally expect in their wildest of imaginations that Taliban would adopt anything remotely similar to the model that Madani had proposed, but it is also true that without mending their ways, they may face serious difficulties in gaining recognition from the West, which can lead to a severe economic crisis within the country. Moreover, Afghans population has witnessed incessant warfare for over four decades. They crave for stability and internal religious and ethnic harmony. What better model could there be to achieve this than the one proposed by Maulana Madani in the 1930s, which is both Islamic and modern? Could the Taliban revert to the teachings of their greatest Sheikh, and truly demonstrate that they have changed (which they seem quite adamant to prove to the world)? I will end with this hope that the Soul of Maulana Madani would guide them to give up fundamentalism and accept moderation and inclusivity.

[i] Hasan, Tariq. Colonialism and the Call to Jihad in British India, P#177.

[ii] Metcalf, Barbara. Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom.

[iii] Armaghan-e-Hijaz (Gift from Hijaz)- Iqbal’s collection of poems.

[iv] Metcalf, Barbara. Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom, P#166.

[v] Husain Ahmad Madani. “Composite Nationalism and Islam”, P#7.

[vi] Metcalf, Barbara. Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom, P#168-69.

[vii] Maktubat, Volume I, P#396.

[viii] Maktubat, Volume I, P#399.

[ix] Metcalf, Barbara. Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom, P#199-200.

[x] Hardy, Peter. Partners in freedom and true Muslims: The political thought of some Muslim scholars in British India (1912-1947).

WRITTEN BY:
Ammar Anwer
The writer is a columnist from Pakistan currently living in Europe. His writings address social, political, cultural, religious, and philosophical issues. He has also written extensively on contemporary Islamism. His work has also been published at the Quilliam Foundation, and the AMERICAN SPECTATOR.

The Imam who could debate anyone

Abū Ḥanīfa’s journey began with his initial interest in the science of kalām,[1] and he would often debate deviant views and advocate the case for orthodox Islām. Indeed, he visited Basra in Iraq no less than 27 times for this purpose. His interlocutors included the Mu’tazila, the Khawārij, and others. Abū Ḥanīfa’s relentless efforts in defending orthodox Islām resulted in him becoming a nationally recognised figure, despite being only 20 years old at the time.
However, the pivotal point in the life of Abū Ḥanīfa that inspired him to turn from the field of kalām to that of fiqh was during a study circle he was leading in the Masjid. A woman asked him a basic fiqh question pertaining to divorce that he was unable to answer.

Abū Ḥanīfa referred the questioner to another nearby study circle within the Masjid which was led by Ḥammād b. Abī Sulaymān and asked the woman to inform him of the answer when she learnt it from Ḥammād. When she gave Abū Ḥanīfa the response, he said: “I have lost the interest for kalām.” He immediately picked up his shoes and made his way to the circle of Ḥammād to study fiqh.

Abū Ḥanīfa remained in that study circle learning from Ḥammād for a staggering 18 years. He would ardently serve Ḥammād for nearly two decades, not leaving his side until his teacher passed away. Abū Ḥanīfa’s mentor realised that before him was a marvel of a human being, memorising his teachings word for word whilst others would forget, and so Ḥammād said:

لا يجلس في صدر الحلقة بحذائي غير أبي حنيفة

“No one is to sit at the forefront of the study circle next to me but Abū Ḥanīfa.”[2]

There was an interesting event that took place ten years into Abū Ḥanīfa’s study with Ḥammād. Abū Ḥanīfa said:

“I accompanied Ḥammād for ten years, then my soul began to yearn for a position of authority. I considered breaking away and starting my own study circle. On one evening, I made my way to the Masjid with the intention of doing just that, but when I saw Ḥammād, I could not bring myself to do so. During that evening’s class, news was conveyed to Ḥammād that a relative of his in Basra had passed away. This relative had left behind him some wealth and Ḥammād was the only inheritor. So, he instructed me to sit in his place to teach.

Ḥammād left, and so the students asked me questions that I had not heard Ḥammād answer before. I would answer the questions and write down my answers. After two months, Ḥammād returned. I showed him the questions I was asked and how I answered them. There were around sixty questions. He approved of forty of my answers and disagreed with twenty of them. I vowed to myself that I will not leave his side until he passes away.”[3]

This event therefore marked the official deputisation of Abū Ḥanīfa, who taught in Ḥammād’s place when he was absent and subsequently succeeded him in Kufa after Ḥammād had passed away. Indeed, matters may have been different had Abū Ḥanīfa acted upon his wishes of breaking away from his teacher’s study circle that evening.

At times, one may eagerly aspire for a matter but knows deep down that going for it at that moment would not be the right thing to do. So he waits and exercises that much more patience, and then lo and behold, the matter which he was heading towards now heads towards him! The time is now right and the outcome is now best.

Ḥammād was not only the teacher of Abū Ḥanīfa, but of 4,000 other students as well, 93 of whom were from the tābi’ūn. It is important to note that Ḥammād was a scholar who was taught by Ibrāhīm al-Nakha’ī (the main jurist of Iraq at his time), who was taught by ‘Alqama, who was taught by ‘Abdullāh b. Mas’ūd, the Companion of the Prophet ﷺ. Hence, the fiqh of Abū Ḥanīfa has its roots in the earliest of traditions, and he is a man whose trustworthiness and knowledge cannot be doubted.

The personality and manners of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa

‘Abdullāh b. Al-Mubārak once said to Sufyān al-Thawri: [4]

ما أبعد أبا حنيفة عن الغيبة، ما سمعتُه يغتاب عدوًّا له

“How distant is Abū Ḥanīfa from making slanderous statements. I have never even heard him backbite his enemies.”

Sufyān responded:

والله هو أعقل من أن يُسلِّط على حسناته ما يذهب بها

“By Allah, he is wiser than to allow someone to walk away with his good deeds.”[5]

Abū Ḥanīfa took a vow that every time he would take an oath using Allah’s name, he would follow this by donating a dinar of gold in charity. He did this out of veneration of Allah’s name and to train himself not to abuse the taking of oaths using Allah’s name. How different is this to those who use Allah’s name for the pettiest of oaths and for the lightest of matters, whilst Allah has said:

وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ

“…and guard your oaths…”[6]

Abū Ḥanīfa was uniquely generous, pledging that for each dinar he would spend on his family, an equivalent amount would be donated in charity.

Abū Ḥanīfa’s worship

Exemplary worship is a key quality that consistently reappears in the biographies of the luminaries of the past; their levels of worship were awe-inspiring. Such giants of Islām recognised that application is the core purpose of knowledge, and if such knowledge does not activate a tangible change in one’s behaviour, manners, and worship, then one will have fallen victim to the four elements from which the Prophet ﷺ sought protection against when he said:

اللهم إني أعوذ بك من علم لا ينفع ومن قلب لا يخشع ومن نفس لا تشبع ومن دعوة لا يستجاب لها‏

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that is not beneficial, from a heart that does not humble itself to You, from desire that is not satisfied, and from a prayer that is not answered.”[7]

Ask yourself: it may be true that my ‘knowledge’ is increasing, but is it causing me to grow? How true were the words of ‘Abd al-A’lā al-Tamīmi who said:

من أوتي من العلم ما لا يبكيه فخليق أن لا يكون أوتي علماً ينفعه؛ لأن الله –عز وجل- نعت العلماء، وقرأ: إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا * وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنْ كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولًا * وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا

“Whoever gains knowledge that does not cause him to cry has not gained beneficial knowledge. This is because Allah said in describing the scholars, “Those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, and they say, ‘Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.’ And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’an increases them in humble submission.”[8]

Abū Qilāba said to his student Ayyūb al-Sikhtiāni:

 إذا أحدث الله لك علماً فأحدث له عبادة ولا يكن همك أن تحدث به

“If Allah gives you a new portion of knowledge, then give it a new portion of worship, and do not make your main intention the teaching of this knowledge.”[9]

Sufyān b. ‘Uyayna said:

إِذَا كَانَ نَهَارِي نَهَارَ سَفِيهٍ ، وَلَيْلِي لَيْلَ جَاهِلٍ ، فَمَا أَصْنَعُ بِالْعِلْمِ الَّذِي كَتَبْتُ ؟

“If I am spending my hours during the day foolishly and my nights ignorantly, then what is the point of the knowledge that I am writing?”[10]

Exemplary worship was the hallmark of our predecessors and was for them the sign of true knowledge. Abū Ḥanīfa was no exception. He performed Ḥajj no less than an astonishing 55 times. He would also pray the Fajr (dawn) prayer without needing to renew the wuḍū’ (ablution) that he had made for the ‘Ishā’ (night) prayer – this practice lasted for approximately 30 years. In other words, he did not sleep during the night.

Mis’ar b. Kidām said:

“I saw the Imām performing the Fajr (dawn) prayer, then he would sit to teach all the way until Ẓuhr (noon), then would remain in his place (teaching) until Maghrib (sunset), then again until near ‘Ishā’ (night). So, I asked myself: ‘When does he find time for worship?’ When the crowds lessened, he made his way to the Masjid and stood in prayer until the time for Fajr. He then went into his house, changed his clothes, then came back out for the Fajr prayer. I monitored this behaviour of his, and I only ever recall seeing him fasting during the day or praying at night.”

The mother of his child said that his sleep was only between Ẓuhr (noon) and ‘Asr (afternoon) in the summer, whilst in the winter he would sleep lightly in the first part of the night when he was in the Masjid.[11]

This may amaze many – and is certainly deserving of amazement – but this is the nature of the soul: it will become accustomed to whatever it is provided with. If the soul is offered excessive sleep, it will learn to demand such. However, if it is disciplined with patience, du’ā, and consistency, it will surrender to the wishes of its master like a wild beast which ultimately succumbs to a strong owner, even if it takes a while to achieve this.

There is no doubt that when Allah sees sincerity in a heart and a genuine desire to live a life of lofty goals and high aspirations, He will facilitate these ambitions through ways one could not have ever imagined.

Abū Ḥanīfa once recited the Qur’an from cover to cover in a single unit of prayer. He would complete the recitation of the entire Qur’an every three days. In fact, he once spent the entire night in prayer repeating one verse from the Qur’an as he wept – this verse is where Allah said:

بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَى وَأَمَرُّ

“But the Hour is their appointment, and the Hour is most disastrous and most bitter.”[12]

His knowledge and intelligence

Imām Mālik was asked: “Have you seen Abū Ḥanīfa?” To which he replied:

نَعَمْ، رَأَيْتُ رَجُلًا لَوْ كَلَّمَكَ فِي هَذِهِ السَّارِيَةِ أَنْ يَجْعَلَهَا ذَهَبًا لَقَامَ بِحُجَّتِهِ

“Yes, I saw a man who, if he wanted to convince you that this pillar was made out of gold, would be able to argue a case for it.”[13]

Imām al-Shāfi’ī once said:

ما طلب أحد الفقه إلا كان عيالاً على أبي حنيفة، وما قامت النساء على رجلٍ أعقل من أبي حنيفة

“Every student of fiqh is dependent upon Abū Ḥanīfa. No woman has ever given birth to a man who was wiser than Abū Ḥanīfa.”[14]

Abū Ḥanīfa once saw himself in a dream exhuming the grave of the Prophet ﷺ. This dream was then relayed to Muḥammad b. Sīrīn for its interpretation. Ibn Sīrīn expressed immense interest in it and enquired about who saw it. Ibn Sīrīn then explained:

صاحب هذه الرؤيا يثور علمًا لم يسبقه إليه أحد قبله

“The viewer of this dream has knowledge that overspills in unprecedented ways.”[15]

His manners

Imām Abū Ḥanīfa had a neighbour in Kufa who would drink most of the night and, once drunk, would sing at the top of his voice, repeating the same couplets over and over again:

أضاعوني وأي فتى أضاعوا ليوم كريهة وسداد ثغر

“They have neglected me, but what a man they have neglected. They shall realise their loss during times of war.”[16]

This drunk man would sing himself to sleep. As Abū Ḥanīfa would spend the entire night in prayer, he had the unfortunate privilege of hearing his neighbour’s din from beginning to end – each and every evening. On one evening, Abū Ḥanīfa did not hear his neighbour’s clamour. Out of concern at not enduring the nightly wailing and what this may mean, Abū Ḥanīfa enquired about him and discovered that he had been arrested and imprisoned by the city police for drunkenness.

The next morning, Abū Ḥanīfa carried out his Fajr prayer, mounted his ride, and made his way to the governor’s residence. The governor was pleased to see him and treated him as an honoured guest. During the meeting, Abū Ḥanīfa requested the release of his drunkard neighbour. Not only did the governor accede to this request, but he also decided to free all those who had been imprisoned that same evening in an act of clemency.

When his neighbour arrived home, Abū Ḥanīfa asked him:

يا فتى، أضعناك؟

“Young man, have I neglected you?”

The neighbour responded:

لا، بل حفظت ورعيت، جزاك الله خيرًا عن حرمة الجوار ورعاية الحق

“No, you preserved and safeguarded me, so may Allah reward you for being such a good neighbour and a guardian of rights.”

This marked the moment of repentance for this young man, who never returned to his old habits again.[17]

How beautiful are the words of al-Hasan al-Baṣrī who said:

ليس حسن الجوار كف الأذى ، حسن الجوار الصبر على الأذى

“Being neighbourly is not merely about refraining from harming your neighbour, rather it is about being patient in the face of harm.”[18]

Imām Abū Ḥanīfa was also a man of immense warā’ (caution) with respect to his religious affairs, not taking any risks with matters of the hereafter. He once asked his business partner to sell an item of clothing worth 30,000 dirhams. It had a defect, which Abū Ḥanīfa gave clear instructions was to be declared and shown to the buyer beforehand. The item was sold, and the money was given to Abū Ḥanīfa, but his partner had forgotten to show the defect to the buyer. At once, Imām Abū Ḥanīfa donated the entire 30,000 dirhams.[19]

The Prophet ﷺ said:

كن ورعًا تكن أعبدَ الناسِ

“Be cautious in your approach to matters and you will be, in Allah’s Eyes, the most devoted of all people.”[20]

A sign that Allah wants good for a Muslim is that He inspires such an individual to show great caution with respect to matters of religion: restraint with respect to casual glances, careful choice of words, consideration of dress in public, and cautiousness with regards to finances.

‘Ā’ishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Abū Bakr had a servant who would bring Abū Bakr from his earnings that which he would eat from. On one of those days as Abū Bakr ate, the man said: ‘Do you know where I got this from?’ Abū Bakr asked: ‘From where?’ He responded:

كُنْتُ تَكَهَّنْتُ لِإِنْسَانٍ فِي الجَاهِلِيَّةِ، وَمَا أُحْسِنُ الكِهَانَةَ، إِلَّا أَنِّي خَدَعْتُهُ، فَلَقِيَنِي فَأَعْطَانِي بِذَلِكَ، فَهَذَا الَّذِي أَكَلْتَ مِنْهُ

“Once, in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance I foretold somebody’s future. Although I have no knowledge of foretelling, I cheated him, and when he met me, he gave me something for that service, and that is what you have eaten from.”

Immediately, Abū Bakr wedged his finger into the back of his throat and vomited all that he had eaten.[21] In other narrations, Abū Bakr’s attempts to induce vomit failed at first, so he continued to drink water and vomit until nothing remained. Then Abū Bakr said:

 اللهم إني أعتذر إليك مما حملت العروق وخالطه الأمعاء

“O Allah, I apologise to you from the remnants of that food which has reached my intestines and passed into my veins.”[22]

It was then said to him: “May Allah have mercy upon you! You did all of that to yourself for one mouthful?” Abū Bakr responded:

لَوْ لَمْ تَخْرُجْ إِلا مَعَ نَفْسِي لأَخْرَجْتُهَا ، سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، يَقُولُ : ” كُلُّ جَسَدٍ نَبَتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ فَالنَّارُ أَوْلَى بِهِ ”

“If that food was only going to exit with my soul, I would have still made sure that it left my body. I heard the Prophet ﷺ say: “Anyone whose body grows through impermissible earnings; the fire is worthier of it.”[23]

Do not wait to be taken by surprise on the Day of Reckoning. Rather, make sure to diligently bring yourself to account whilst you are still able to. Do not let yourself fall asleep this evening before you have audited each word you have spoken, every image you have posted online, and every penny that has been deposited into your bank account. Make warā’ part and parcel of every decision you make, and hope that in doing so you become, in Allah’s Eyes, the most devout of all people.

His school of thought

It is important to note that the fiqh of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa was formulated as a collective effort, as opposed to being the mere opinions of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa alone. The Imām would lead a council that included the likes of Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, Al-Qāḍi Abū Yūsuf, Ḥafs b. Ghiyāth, and other scholars of fiqh, language, ḥadīth, and of the judiciary. It was the main study circle of the city of Kufa.

mas’ala (matter of discussion) would be posed, then every participant would speak and there would be a back and forth which would, at times, last an entire month, during which Imām Abū Ḥanīfa did not impose his opinion. After a thorough dissection and discussion of the issue, and after each participant was given the space to air his opinion, only then would Imām Abū Ḥanīfa give his view. Once consensus had been reached and an opinion was settled on, only then would this opinion be documented as part of the fiqh of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa. So, this circle was in essence the formation of the first Majma’ Fiqhi (fiqh council) in the Ummah – Imām Abū Ḥanīfa was therefore a trailblazer.

This is why when Wakī’ heard a person saying: “Imām Abū Ḥanīfa made a mistake,” he responded: “How can he make a mistake when with him are the likes of Abū Yūsuf and Zufar who are known for their Qiyās;[24] Yaḥya b. Abī Zā’ida, Ḥafs b. Ghiyāth, Ḥibbān, and Mandal, all of whom are known for their memorization of hadīth; Al-Qāsim b. Ma’n who is known for his knowledge of the Arabic language; and Dāwūd al- Ṭā’i and Al-Fuḍayl b. ‘Iyāḍ who are known for their Zuhd and caution? Whoever has such people as his companions will rarely make mistakes, because if he does, they will correct him.”

Whilst Abū Ḥanīfa was pioneering with his fiqh council, he would not hide behind the group if an issue could not be solved. Rather, he took responsibility for this himself.

If a matter remained unclear to Abū Ḥanīfa, struggling to reach a conclusive opinion, he would say to his companions:

 ما هذا إلا لذنب أذنبته

“This is due to my sins.”

He would repent to Allah, and at times would stand in prayer until the matter became clear. He would then say:

رجوتُ أنه تيب عليَّ

“My hope is that I have been forgiven.”[25]

Imām Abū Ḥanīfa was blessed with impressively loyal and scholarly students. These pupils included Abū Yūsuf (who would act as a chief judge during the reign of the Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd), Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Shaybāni (a scholar, judge, and prolific writer of the treatise Introduction to the Law of Nations), Zufar, and of course, ‘Abdullāh b. Mubārak.

It is true that the other three notable Imāms (Mālik, al-Shāfi’ī, and Aḥmad) were also blessed with dutiful students. However, none can be compared to the students of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa particularly with respect to the service they offered the works of their Imām and the role they played in promoting it. The books that can be directly attributed to Abū Ḥanīfa’s authorship are few; it was his students who carried the load of propagating his school of thought throughout the world.

Imām Abū Ḥanīfa’s school of thought is today the most widely adopted school worldwide. This has arguably been the case for the past 13 centuries. Imām Abū Ḥanīfa’s systemisation of Islamic legal doctrine had acquired such prestige that it became the school of thought for the Abbāsid dynasty, which ruled over the Islamic empire for nearly half a millennium. It was also the chosen madhhab for the Ottoman dynasty, which played a significant role in its spread throughout Iraq, al-Shām,[26] Egypt, the Indian sub-continent, and even China. Today, over half of the Muslim Ummah follows Imām Abū Ḥanīfa’s school of thought. 

Abū Ḥanīfa’s death

Like Prophet Yūsuf before him, and many scholars including Imām Aḥmad as well as those currently languishing in prisons, Imām Abū Ḥanīfa was unjustly imprisoned. He had been invited on at least two occasions to accept the position of Qāḍi (judge) but refused both invitations. After declining the position on the second invitation, Abū Ja’far al-Mansūr al- ‘Abbāsi ordered the imprisonment of Abū Ḥanīfa for the first time in his life. There are some reports that he was also lashed 110 times.

On this, Imām Abū Ḥanīfa commented:

قال: كان غم والدتي أشد علي من الضرب

“The grief that I knew my mother was experiencing because of my trial was more painful than the lashes.”[27]

At the fragile age of 70, Imām Abū Ḥanīfa, the son of a rich merchant, spent his final days enduring cruel conditions in captivity. As the days passed, his body tired and his limbs became weak, but he remained resolute. This is one of the miraculous qualities of īmān – despite the body being bloodied and bruised, the soul stands tall and defiant.

Nevertheless, there is only so much an old man can take. In the year 150AH in the month of Rajab – whilst he was fettered in chains[28] – Imām Abū Ḥanīfa’s soul would return to its Creator. Some have suggested that al-Mansūr had in fact poisoned the Imām’s food. If this is true, one can be hopeful of the position of martyrdom for this great Imām. We ask Allah that it is so.

Imām Ibn Kathīr said:

وصُلِّي عليه ببغداد ست مرات لكثرة الزحام، وقبره هناك رحمه الله

“The funeral prayer was conducted six times in Baghdad due to the masses of people. His grave is there. May Allah have mercy upon him.”[29]

Allah’s mercy upon this Ummah is vast, for in the same year in which Imām Abū Hanīfa passed away, another great Imām would be born: Muḥammad b. Idrīs Al-Shāfi’ī. The scholars would later say:

مات قمر وولد قمر

“A moon died and another was born.”

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Literally in reference to the “science of discourse”, which is concerned with firmly establishing religious beliefs by adducing proofs and banishing doubts.

[2] Tārīkh Baghdād

[3] Siyar A’lām al-Nubalā

[4] ‘Abdullāh b. Mubārak was a student of both Abū Ḥanīfa and Sufyān al-Thawri whilst becoming a scholar in his own right. He was also celebrated for defending the borders of Islām.

[5] Manāqib al-Muwaffaq

[6] Al-Qur’an, 5:89

[7] Muslim, on the authority of Zayd b. Arqām

[8] Musnad al-Dārimi

[9] Jāmi’ al-Bayān al-‘Ilm wa Fadlih, by Ibn ‘Abd-al-Barr

[10] Akhlāq al-‘Ulamā, by al-Ājurry

[11] Al-Khayrāt al-Ḥisān

[12] Tārīkh Baghdād

[13] Naṣb al-Rāya

[14] Manāqib al-Imām al-A’dham Abū Ḥanīfa

[15] Al-Ḥāwi al-Kabīr

[16] In other words, people see him of no value at present, but when the armies clash during times of war, people will realise his true value when they miss his brave contributions on the front line.

[17] Tārīkh Baghdād

[18] Al-Ādāb al-Shar’iyya

[19] Al-Khayrāt al-Ḥisān

[20] Aḥmad, on the authority of Abū Hurairah

[21] Al-Bukhārī, on the authority of ‘Āishah

[22] Iḥyā ‘Ulūm Al-Dīn

[23] Ḥilya al-Awliyā’, on the authority of Zayd b. Arqām

[24] A process of deductive analogy

[25] Manāqib Abū Ḥanīfa

[26] Modern-day Syria, Palestine, and parts of Lebanon

[27] Tārīkh Baghdād

[28] Others have argued that he died as a free man.

[29] Al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah

ABOUT SHAIKH ALI HAMMUDA

Shaikh Ali Ihsan Hammuda is a UK national of Palestinian origin. He gained bachelors and masters’ degrees in Architecture & Planning from the University of the West of England, before achieving a BA in Shari’ah from al-Azhar University in Egypt. He is currently based in Wales and is a visiting Imām at Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, and also a senior researcher and lecturer for the Muslim Research & Development Foundation in London. Ustādh Ali is the author of several books including ‘The Daily Revivals’ and ‘The Ten Lanterns”, and continues to deliver sermons, lectures and regular classes across the country.

The Message Of Safar

The Message Of Safar…
“THERE IS NO CONTAGION” ALL Beliefs, Talks & Fear-Mongering Regarding Contagion Is Pure BALDERDASH!!!
This Is The 1400-Year-Old Message Of Safar!
Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) clearly said, “There is NO contagion (of disease), no evil omens (with owls, etc.) and no (bad luck in the month of) Safar.” (Bukhari Shareef)

Khutbah: 20 Years of the War on Terror

Purpose

  • – Build awareness of the 20 year mark of the global War on Terror, which led to the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other lands.
  • – Educate the community on the factually correct narrative around the events of 9/11 to counter mainstream propaganda.
  • – Inspire, empower, and have a positive impact on the community.
  • – Use the 20 year mark to remember and pray for Muslims who lost their lives during the post 9/11 wars.

KHUTBAH

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, we seek His help, and we seek His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and our evil deeds. Whoever Allah guides, there is none to misguide him. Whoever Allah leads astray, there is none to guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah alone, without any partners, and that Muhammad ﷺ is His servant and His Messenger.


قال الله تعالى يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ

Allah Almighty said, “O you who have faith, fear Allah as it is His right to be feared and do not die unless you are Muslims.”[1]

وقال الله وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا

And Allah Almighty said, “Fear Allah, from whom you ask each other, and in your family ties, for Allah is ever watchful over you.”[2]

وقال الله اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

And Allah Almighty said, “Fear Allah and speak words as befitting. He will amend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has achieved a great triumph.” (al-Aḥzāb, 70-71)

إِنَّ أَصْدَقَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ وَأَحْسَنَ الْهَدْيِ هَدْيُ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَشَرُّ الْأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا وَكُلُّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلُّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ وَكُلُّ ضَلَالَةٍ فِي النَّارِ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ…

The truest word is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad ﷺ. The most evil matters are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation. Every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire. To proceed (and then to begin the sermon):

Allah says:

وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ ٱلْحَرْثَ وَٱلنَّسْلَ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْفَسَادَ

“Whenever he attains authority, he goes about the earth spreading mischief and laying to waste crops and human life, even though Allah does not love mischief.” [3]

Topic of the Khutbah

– This September marks 20 years of a worldwide war that was initiated by President George Bush on 18 September 2001. He declared a ‘crusade’[4] that created a never ending war, turning the whole world into a battlefield for America and its allies.

– This so called global ‘War on Terror’ led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the CIA torture programme, abuses at CIA ‘black sites’, inhuman treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, drone assassinations, and systematically draconian and Islamophobic laws across the world.

– This global War on Terror fuelled the rise of Islamophobia, which casted Muslims as potential terrorists. Anti-Muslim violence escalated and the targeting of mainstream Islamic beliefs by politicians and the media became normal.

– This global war also accelerated the growth of far right movements across the West, who exploited the hate against Muslims to justify their racism. In these 20 years, we have also seen Eastern governments like China adopt a similar ‘War on Terror’ narrative against the Muslims of East Turkestan. India has done the same to deprive Indian Muslims of their citizenship and also attack Muslims in Kashmir.

– These two decades of the ‘War on Terror’ have led to so many deaths of innocent people, as well as numerous oppressive and unjust statutes and policies targeting Muslim communities. There has been a clear undermining of the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, and due process.

– Many in the mainstream media will be discussing the events of 9/11 tomorrow. Our sympathies are with the families of the 2,977 people that died on that day. And our hearts go out to the nearly one million Muslims[5] that were killed by America and its allies since that day.

“For the Muslim Ummah every single day has been like a 9/11.”

This global war was launched allegedly as a response to the 9/11 incident. In fact, many have come to accept this false narrative, as though history began on September 11th 2001. In reality, the aggression against the Muslim world and destruction of Muslim people began much earlier before 9/11. Here are just some examples:

  1. In 1991: The US and 35 allies bombed Iraq. They even used depleted uranium, which caused almost half a million children to die.[6] More than a decade of financial and medical sanctions were imposed thereafter. This is BEFORE the second invasion that occurred during the Iraq War in 2003!
  2. In 1993, the US invaded Somalia. US troops were expelled in an infamous Black Hawk 312 Muslims were killed and many more were wounded.
  3. For many decades the US and allies have provided unflinching support to Israel in its continued occupation of Palestine and expulsion of Muslims there.
  4. For a very long time, the US has maintained a huge military presence in Muslim countries through military bases. From these bases, war and destruction is launched on other Muslim countries.[7]
  5. Long before 9/11, the US and its allies provided political and economic support to brutal dictators in the Muslim world, whilst singing about democracy.

Effect of this war on Muslims in the UK

This 20-year war has not only been impacting Muslims in distant lands. It has affected us right here directly: in our schools via the Prevent program; at our workplaces experiencing Islamophobia; at airports being stopped under Schedule 7; in the media while routinely being associated with violence and hate…and much more. Because of this false narrative created by the War on Terror, all Muslims are misrepresented as suspects or potential terrorists in our current time.

Our duty as Muslims

– We are part of the Muslim Ummah, and we stand together against injustice taking place against the Ummah from around the world, and also here in this country.

– We should call for accountability for all governments, agencies, and officials that are guilty of war crimes and abuses since 2001. This is a basic duty we owe to our brothers and sisters who suffered.

– We should demand that governments and leaders acknowledge the crimes which were committed in the name of the ‘War on Terror’. At the same time, we should demand restorative justice for victims and survivors of these wars.

– We should work towards the complete dismantlement of the infrastructure which made those crimes possible, including the unjust laws, policies, and practices that were created in this so-called ‘War on Terror’.

Positive & empowering reminder to finish

 The oppressed will one day secure their freedom, as it is a promise from Allah:

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتُضْعِفُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ ٱلْوَٰرِثِينَ

وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَنُرِىَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَـٰمَـٰنَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يَحْذَرُونَ

“And We wanted to confer favor upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them inheritors; and to establish them in the land; and through them show Pharaoh, Hamân, and their soldiers ˹the fulfilment of˺ what they feared.” [8]

The Muslim is always positive and optimistic; we know our Lord is Allah and He is always in support of His obedient slaves. We must remain steadfast on the path to justice. Those who spend trillions on spreading war and destruction – especially if the goal is to undermine Islam – will never succeed, because their cause is unjust and criminal:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَٰلَهُمْ لِيَصُدُّوا۟ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ فَسَيُنفِقُونَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسْرَةً ثُمَّ يُغْلَبُونَ ۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ يُحْشَرُونَ

“Surely the disbelievers spend their wealth to hinder others from the Path of Allah. They will continue to spend to the point of regret. Then they will be defeated and the disbelievers will be driven into Hell.” [9]

Many Islamic scholars from around the world have come together to express their solidarity and sympathy with victims and survivors of the wars in the post-9/11 era. You can read their statements here

That website is the home of a worldwide campaign launched by more than 50 organisations to ensure that the stories of the survivors of this war are not forgotten.

RESEARCH NOTES FOR IMAMS

What Does The International Witness Campaign Stand For?

Key Points

After decades of confrontation with the Soviet Union, the US emerged as the sole superpower and immediately engaged in a series of destructive “humanitarian wars” and political meddling. This included starving to death more than 500,000 children in Iraq, which was “a price worth paying”, as infamously stated by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Soon after, US militarism reinvented itself under a new label.

In 2001, US President George W. Bush announced the launch of a “crusade”. Since then, we have witnessed 20 years of premeditated illegal wars, carpet bombings, drone assassinations, arbitrary detention, torture, mass displacement, and rampant corruption in the Muslim world.

As a result, thousands in Western democracies have lost their loved ones in these wars. Many more have suffered life-changing injuries, and an untold number have come home with unseen trauma to their mental health.

Western democracies have also enacted countless statutes and policies targeting Muslim communities and undermining the rule of law for all. This has meant the erosion of basic freedoms, unprecedented waste of taxpayers’ money, and the West’s loss of standing in the global arena.

This infrastructure was built and promoted by ideologically-motivated architects, which included interest-driven politicians, think-tanks, experts, media outlets, and businesses.

It was also facilitated by the liberal complicity in structural Islamophobia and securitisation.

In the process, we saw whistleblowers and truth speakers being demonised and repressed.

However, the dialogue initiated in Doha, as well as President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after facing military and moral defeat, represent a historic moment which deserves much reflection.

More than a contemplative exercise over past events, this campaign seeks to respond to the globalisation of the War on Terror. Unfortunately, most countries in the world have adopted the pervasive 20-year-old rhetoric, laws, and policies to suppress their Muslim populations and dissidents. Thus, it is important for civil society actors to rise to these new challenges and produce a response centred around the empowerment of Muslim communities and changing the status quo.

The International Witness Campaign gathers international partners to commemorate this anniversary and remember the millions of people affected across the globe.

It explores two decades of the War on Terror: its impact, its failures, and its future, while promoting solidarity, justice, and dialogue.

Why Should You Support The International Witness Campaign?

Key Facts

  • – At least 801,000 people have been directly killed in major wars since 2001.
  • – 37 million people have been displaced as a result of America’s War on Terror.
  • – Over 6.4 trillion dollars have been spent on wars by the US alone.
  • – Over 134 countries have been involved in some way with these conflicts.
  • – Dozens of laws eroding civil liberties of all citizens have been passed and implemented.
  • – Private security corporations have been profiting from taxpayers’ funded national security systems.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

For futher reading, click here

[1] Al-Qur’an, 3:102

[2] Al-Qur’an, 4:1

[3] Al-Qur’an, 2:205

[4] https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1001020294332922160

[5] https://www.brown.edu/news/2019-11-13/costsofwar

[6] https://mackdegeurin.medium.com/is-the-price-worth-it-the-crippling-effects-of-u-n-sanctions-in-iraq-481d4a89bdd2

[7] https://5pillarsuk.com/2020/01/09/which-muslim-countries-host-u-s-military-bases/

[8] Al-Qur’an, 28:5-6

[9] Al-Qur’an, 8:36

Muharram, the Hijrah, and the Muslim calendar

By: Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia

Source: ilmgate.org

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace) over a span of twenty-three years. The Prophet recited each verse according to its pre-ordained order in the Lawh Mahfuz, or Protected Tablet. After the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) left this world, his Companions compiled, and thus preserved, the Qur’an in the very order it was recited during his life. Muslims have always held the view that this order of recitation was also divinely inspired and that the Companions preserved the pre-ordained order of recitation. The science that inevitably emerged from this is that of understanding the nazm, or literary arrangement, of the Qur’an. In his brilliant exegesis of the Qur’an, Tafsir Azizi, Shah Abdul Aziz, the erudite protégé and son of Shah Waliullah of Delhi, notes the genius of the Companions vis-à-vis their understanding the nazm of the Qur’an and hence their dexterity in fathoming the meaning of the Qur’an itself.

We must understand some historical facts about the pre-Islamic calendar. The year in which the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace) was born was known as the Year of the Elephant. The Year of the Elephant was the year in which Abrahah came to Makkah with the intent to destroy the Ka‘bah. He failed miserably, as the Qur’an notes in Surat al-Fil (105). The Arabs used that year as a point of reference to number their years. But they did not agree to any standard when it came to numbering their months, even though their calendar was lunar. Even the period of the Hajj was not specified and, consequently, the sacred month of Muharram was also shifted every year. This meant that some years had thirteen months instead of twelve.

The responsibility for announcing the date of the Hajj was entrusted to a man from Banu Kinanah named Hudhayfah bin ‘Abd Fuqaym (better known as al-Qalammas). He would announce on the occasion of the Hajj when the next pilgrimage was to be performed, and which month the thirteenth month was to follow. The first Qalammas was an individual, but then the name became a title specific to the announcer.

The Arabs regarded the months of Rajab, Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram as months of peace and sanctity. But, with this calendar, these months also began to undergo changes, and it was one of the responsibilities of the Qalammas to announce what months would be the sacred months in the following year. When it suited the purposes of the warring tribes, the announcer would declare that their idols had prohibited fighting that year in the month of Muharram; and the following year he would announce that the idols had now allowed fighting in the month of Muharram. So the month of Safar (which was not a sacred month) was either postponed or kept on its regular time according to the proclamation of the Qalammas. This was the practice known as al-nasi’ (postponing or transposing) in Arabic; the Qur’an addresses it in Surat al-Tawbah (9:36–37):

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)—so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight ordinance. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.

Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to disbelief. The disbelievers are led to wrong thereby. For they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah does not guide those who reject Faith.”

The Prophet, in his address at the Farewell Hajj, announced the abrogation of meddling with the months:

“O people! Time after undergoing a full revolution has returned to its original state,1 the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months; four of them are sacred. Three run consecutively—Dhul Qa‘dah, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram—and the other is the Rajab of Mudar, which comes between Jamadul ‘Aakhir and Sha‘ban.”

So the twelve lunar months were ordained. Muharram was left as the first month of the Muslim calendar year. But the determination of the first year of the Muslim calendar did not come about until later. ‘Allamah Sakhawi gives the following details about the origin of the Islamic calendar:2

“A report on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas states that there existed no era in Madinah when the Prophet arrived there. People came to use an era a month or two after his arrival. This continued until Muhammad’s (upon him be blessings and peace) death. Then the use of an era was discontinued, and there was none during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and the first four years of the caliphate of ‘Umar. Then the (Muslim) era was established. ‘Umar is reported to have said to the assembled dignitaries among the men around Muhammad, “The income is considerable. What we have distributed has been without fixed dates. How can we remedy that?” One answer came from al-Hurmuzan. He had been king of al-Ahwaz. After his capture during the conquest of Persia, he had been brought to ‘Umar and accepted Islam. He said, “The Persians have a (method of) calculation which they call mahroz and ascribe to their Sassanid rulers. The word mahroz was Arabized as mu’arrakh, and the infinitive ta’rikh was formed from it.”

Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Bukhari report through Maymun ibn Mihran that “an IOU payable in Sha‘ban was presented to ‘Umar. Thereupon ‘Umar asked, ‘Which Sha‘ban? The last one, the present one, or the coming one? Give the people something that they can understand.’” He then issued a regular directive and founded the present-day calendar in 16 AH, from which time the practice has been followed.3

Suyuti writes, with reference to Bukari’s Tarikh, that Umar asked Allah for Divine Providence (istikharah) for a month. Thereafter he consulted ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and had the Hijrah dates inserted in all administrative directives two and a half years after assuming the Caliphate, and this became the practice from 16 AH onward.

That ‘Umar deliberated for a whole month and asked for Divine Providence is proof that he attached great importance to making the right choice for the Muslim Ummah. That he consulted his advisors, especially Ali, proves that he had utmost confidence in the assembly with him and refused to act without their unequivocal support. The words of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) come to mind: “He who seeks Divine Providence [istikhara] will not be disappointed; he who seeks advice [istashara] will not regret.”

There was no doubt that the beginning of the months was to be determined by the crescent. Both the Qur’an, in Surat al-Baqarah (2: 189)4 and the practice of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) confirm this beyond dispute. But ‘Umar was especially aware of how serious the matter was, since the Qur’an explicitly forbids believers from manipulating time. He wanted to make sure that the both the year he chose and the conference he enacted would stand the test of time—literally.

All nations and civilizations wish to remain constant and consistent in every theory they expound. If a civilization were to choose an inconsistent conference for measuring time itself, it would inevitably succumb to the pressures of time and seek modification and reform. Such was and still is the fate of what is now the “mainstream” Gregorian calendar now in use. The problem with the Gregorian calendar, as one author notes is the following:

“After every four hundred years seasonal changes occur and probably because of this fact the solar calendar requires constant modification. It is just not possible to remove this discrepancy.

“The League of Nations had set up a Special Committee at Geneva in 1923 charged with the formulation of a calendar that would be universally acceptable and would be reconcilable with seasonal changes. One of the recommendations of this Committee was that the year was to be divided into 13 months.5 However, such a calendar would not be devised as the seasons in the hemispheres differ in their periodic occurrence. The proximity and the distance of the sun in the East and the West naturally give rise to substantial differences. Because of this inherent discrepancy, it was not possible for the solar calendar to gain universal acceptance.”6

Having already accepted the lunar cycles as a conference to determine the months, ‘Umar did not immediately find any specific mandate regarding fixing a year from which to chronicle Muslim history. Along with the other Companions, he looked to the life of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace). They wanted to give Islam its true place in history and that was not possible without revering the Prophet himself. It was their insatiable love for their leader that shook off any and every consideration that was not exclusive to him. They considered the year he was born and the year he died. They could not settle on those years, as the birth of a prophet was not exclusive to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). Other prophets were born and they all passed away, save one, ‘Isa, who will also pass away after return. They considered the year when the Qur’an was first revealed. They did not choose that conference either, since revelation came to other prophets and was thus not exclusive to our Prophet. After a month of tremendous exertion (ijtihad) and through istikhara and istishara, ‘Umar was guided by the nazm, or order, of the Qur’an’s verses to a unique solution.

The verses in Surat al-Tawbah that speak of the year’s consisting of twelve months are followed by a didactic call toward sacrifice in the path of Allah.

“If you do not help (your leader), (it is no matter), for Allah did indeed help him, when the disbelievers drove him out. He had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, ‘Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you did not see, and humbled to the depths the word of the disbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights. For Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” (Surat al-Tawbah, 9:40)

‘Umar realized that there was a link between the story behind this verse and the previous verses that spoke of the twelve months. He saw the pre-ordained order of recitation as giving him an ordinance for his case. Time for Muslims had to be regulated by an acquired act of a human that transcended time itself. The revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet was not an acquired act. Human beings are not capable of following the act of revelation. Likewise, birth and death are divinely regulated and human beings cannot determine each other’s day of birth or death. Similarly, the Night of Isra and Mi‘raj (Ascension) was not something the Ummah could copy. Being the role model for Muslims in their affairs, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) showed the community that if they followed his footsteps in matters related to time, they would be universally accepted. ‘Umar thus concluded that the Hijrah of the Prophet, the story of the Prophet’s flight and migration from Makkah to Madinah, was an act that could be and should be commemorated every year. It was a journey into the unknown; it was riddled with so many intangibles that they were almost uncountable. The Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) threw himself into the infinite mercy of the Unseen and voluntarily left all tangible consequences to the Creator of time (al-Dahr).

Being severely compromised by his own people in Makkah, Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace), through Divine Providence, instructed his followers to migrate to Yathrib, a small town north of Makkah that later became known as Madinah. Muslims obliged, leaving their relatives and belongings in Makkah and seeking refuge in the unknown dimensions of Yathrib. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and his best companion, Abu Bakr, were among the last to leave Makkah. Their strategy was to hide in a cave south of Makkah called Thawr in the hope that the Makkans, if they launched a search for him, would veer northward. They did not. The Makkans found out that they had headed south and followed their trail all the way up to the mouth of the cave. There was nothing shielding the entrance of the cave except a flimsy spider’s web7that could have been broken by a mere sneeze. The defenseless companions of the cave were ironically guarded by something that cannot protect itself. “If they had entered,” said the Makkans, “they would have broken the web.” But it was their web that was broken.

These moments of extreme exposure had countless consequences for the two companions of the cave. History stood still, but time was re-energized by the words of the Prophet to the concerned Abu Bakr: “Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.” Abu Bakr’s expedited and precarious grief was that if they were caught, history indeed would stand still, as Islam would definitely perish without Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). The Prophet’s timeless faith in Allah embodied Divine Ordinance and Providence that still relentlessly withstands the test of modern times.

‘Umar saw this event as the axis about which Muslim time would revolve. He read the verse “If you do not help (your leader), it is no matter…” as pushing him to appreciate Allah’s assistance in time over time. From the outside looking in, a neutral observer would have called the end of Islam in the cave of Thawr. From a universal standpoint, ‘Umar observed the infinite powers of the Unseen delivering the living from imminent death in the cave. Islam’s apparent and imminent death was replaced by Islam’s sure birth and unchecked growth. The Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of this phenomenon: “He [Allah] extracts the living from the dead.” The Hijrah of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and, by association, of Abu Bakr rejuvenate believers every time they pass by that time of the year.

The story of the Hijrah is preceded by an ordinance not to meddle with time. It would necessarily follow that the Hijrah was already ordained by Allah to be the conference upon which Muslims were to set their calendar. So by reading into the pre-ordained order of the verses of the Qur’an, ‘Umar and the Companions of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) found order in their world. By understanding the recited order of the Qur’an’s verses, ‘Umar and the Companions wrote their names in the annals of history and time.

Notes

1 This prophetic revelation that time (zaman) itself was in its own orbit (istadarah) is an abstract for those who wish to study the Islamic theory of time.

2 Hakim Muhammed Said, Hamdard Islamicus, 1981.

3 Ibid.

4 “They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage.”

5 The resurgence of the practice of al-nasi, or intercalation, in modern times?

6 Hakim Muhammed Said, Hamdard Islamicus, 1981.

7 The Qur’an itself states in the Chapter of the Spider: “Truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider’s house” (Surah al-Ankabut, 41: 29).