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The ill-effects of power and wealth

 There is a flaw in the way many Muslims understand their relationship with Allah and there is a left-over from previous generations- a general impression that because Muslims are who they are i.e. because of this religiosity among Muslims, they have become backward, stagnant, unproductive and, (generally speaking), an obstacle to progress and a better future. This understanding of what Islam means and what our relationship with Allah means cannot find a substantiation in what Allah and His Prophet tell us. There's nothing in the ayaat and the ahadith that indicate that having a strong relationship with Allah is going to bring about a deterioration in our worldly responsibilities and in our Earthly endeavors; to the contrary, Allah says

He has made to be your utility everything that is in the Heavens and everything that is on Earth

All of that was made by Him for you. What do we do, though, when we have a remnant impression among certain people that the more religious you are, the more backward you are or the more Islamically observant you are the less likely you are going to have progress in your family, community, country and among your people? This is our responsibility (i.e.) to setback and unfold this impression once-and-for-all. We need Muslims who are committed to Allah (and) who can set the pace for those who misunderstand Islam and for those who don't understand Islam to begin with. There's a notion amongst certain Muslims (that) the more detached you are from the activities of life (like) working, toiling and laboring, the more Islamic character you have. This is a very serious misunderstanding and, (we probably can say), that this is an undermining of the true understanding of Islam. Allah tells us in His book- the ultimate reference- to pursue whatever we are doing in this life as being a portion of the life to come. (You know), the big issue in the mass media is a separation between church and state. There have been many people who have been divided around this issue; much less noticed is the separation between Ad Duniyah and Al Aakhirah. The same way we, Muslims, state forcefully and confidently that we do not recognize a separation between the decision makers in the political realm and the preachers or sermon givers in the religious realm- they should be one and the same- we also should reiterate to ourselves that we do not recognize a difference between our effort in this world and its echo in the world that follows; therefore, we should be living in both worlds. Just like we pride ourselves on having a unity of what is political and religious, we should also equally and more forcefully pride ourselves on having a unity between this world and the pending one.  So, when we come and say that Muslims, (maybe, more than others), remind themselves of death- that's a fact of life. Why are people pessimistic about a reminder of a fact that's going to happen to everyone?

Every living being is going to experience the aroma of death (Surah Aal Imran verse 185)

But that doesn't mean that somehow we are dislocated- some of us make believe that they are living in Al Aakhirah and they forget their presence here and some of us disconnect ourselves from Al Aakhirah and think that this is everything that counts! This is not the way it should be; we should have a healthy and balanced understanding of who we are. The problem with the psychology, human tendencies and what we want and don't want to do is a matter of power and wealth. When we put these issues under our observational microscope, we find out that what interferes in this principle that we are speaking about viz. the unison of our livelihood and our relationship with Allah are these two factors- power and wealth. We have demonstrations of this in the time of Allah's Prophet. There was a person by the name of  Tha'labah who came to Allah's Prophet who came to Allah's Prophet and said, (in today's language), make du'a for me so that I can become a prosperous man. Tha'labah eventually became a rich and prosperous man but he said when he was still poor if I were to become rich and prosperous I am going to give to those who are in need.

But when Allah has given them out of His privilege and abundance...

 What do they do?

... they with-hold their hands and they become stingy...

The problem didn't end with them becoming stingy, then they began to turn away from Allah

...and then they go on a tangent in another direction away from Allah

Meaning- that this relationship that they should honor with Allah after they gain this wealth they no longer want to honor it.

 

In the ayaat that were recited before the khutbah- the problem with Qarun was not in him having the wealth, where-withal, riches and treasures that he had accumulated; Muslims can have as much wealth as they want provided they observe Allah (when) in the possession on this wealth- Allah says

and be generous the same way Allah was generous to you

But once people reach that position of power and wealth, they think and the Qur'anic worlds encapsulate their mentality and emotions- what do they say?

but I've been given this power, wealth and resources that I have because of the knowledge that I have

They attribute Ar Rizq not to Allah but to themselves. In today's world, where do we have Muslims with a Qur'anic heart and mind who can step up to these people who have wealth and power and not be influenced by the heritage, culture and traditions that have piled up throughout the centuries and misplaced Islam and became themselves a religion? There was a time when Muslims began to have some revenue in their treasury- some money was coming back; it wasn't much. It was in the time of Allah's Prophet and a person by the name of Abu Ubaidah Al Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) had come back with some money from the Eastern parts of Arabia. The Muslims were in the Masjid of the Prophet at Fajr time (and) word had gotten around that Abu Ubaidah had come back and he has some money for the Muslim treasury. The Prophet of Allah realized how the psychology of the people around him was behaving when they heard that there was money around. He said this hadith that is rarely quoted in today's atmosphere because the people who are running the Islamic show today are the ones who have this money and power, (at least that's how they think of themselves.) The meaning of this hadith is... (as we said, that was the context- people were ecstatic, they felt there was money in the air). Remember, this money was nothing compared with the concentration of money that we have in our days today. The Prophet said to them OK- good news has come and it made you feel jolly good as much as that may have been. Then he said to them I don't fear poverty over you or coming to your society or I don't fear you living a life of poverty. What I fear is that the world opens up widely and expansively for you i.e. when riches and resources come your way and you become affluent and wealthy- that is what I fear happening to you. As was the case with people and societies and nations that preceded you- then, what happens (is) your competition is going to be towards these Earthly resources; you are going to become rivals because of the possession of this wealth as has happened to these societies and nations before you. They did the same thing and they were obliterated.  Remember, he's speaking to these people who are his generation, these are the people who grew up with him, fought along with him and who breathe and walk the Earth with him- This mode of life will destroy you as it destroyed those societies that came afore-time. What do we have today- brothers and sisters? We have people who have this wealth and power and we have them behaving exactly as Allah's Prophet predicted they would behave. When wealth and money came their way, they forgot Allah and turned away from Him! (Take a) look at them in today's world- they are ashamed and a sore malignant growth on the condition of the Muslims in this world; they are a disgrace to everything that is said by Allah and His Prophet! Why don't they repeat this hadith in the Masajid and Islamic Centers around? We have among us, the Muslims, a psychology and culture of defeat that cannot find itself in the company of Allah saying and doing exactly what Allah expects and desires! NO- they part company with Him- and when do they part company with Him? After He has given them of the resources of this world in abundance, generously and to the trillions-and-billions of dollars that they have! If they were the subjects of Allah and not the creatures of zionism and imperialism they could bring this so-called Western civilization to a standstill if not set it into reverse- but who are we speaking about? We're speaking about princes, kings, rulers, governors and presidents whose only relationship with Allah is the cultural and traditional; rendition of As Salaah and siyaam and that yearly theatre in Makkah and Al Medinah that is run by culture and traditions and not executed according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Who do we have, (look around you; open your eyes and listen to what the speakers have to say), that steps into this global mess and can speak truth to power? Are we supposed to become specific and tell you by the numbers the flow of money that is coming into this political and economic structure, (here), that is used against us, the Muslims, everywhere? They spoke and they still speak about the miserable condition of the Muslims in Gaza- just one news item that has been circulating in the past few weeks- but they don't speak about the enablers of that economic and human misery of a-million-and-a-half people in Gaza because the economic enablers of their condition are their so-called brethren in Arabia. These are the main contributors to the tragic lively details of these people who are forced into pathetic human daily or even hourly conditions of survival. Why can't we see this larger picture? Because we are told from the Manabir of these types of Masajid that "these are our brothers." NO- spare us this brotherhood. When Allah gives these people in Arabia who are doing all of this, the resources, we can apply to them the ayaat and the hadith of the Prophet that fits their condition- how can they become our brothers?! That is not to speak about the mayhem that they are financing in other parts of the Muslim world and there's no one who can raise a voice of truth against these evil human beings who cloak themselves in the image of Muslims; no one can see through their false clothes and their deceptive images?! They're not going to reach as far as Sulayman (alaih salaam) reached as far as his domain or dominion, wealth and the utility of even the animal kingdom and the natural habitat, (but) did he behave the way these people in Arabia are behaving? He said

This is of the grace and abundance of my Sustainer to test me- shall I be grateful or shall I be in denial of Him

Contrast these two attitudes and behaviors. How can anyone, (whoever that person is), place themselves in a cordial relationship with these rulers in Arabia? What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to play politics and say for the time being these rulers in Arabia are doing fine? These rulers in Arabia have been responsible for the past 25 years, (in one way or the other), for us being out, (here), in the street. Just a week or two ago, the person who used to dwell in the Embassy wanted to come and withdraw some of his holdings in the United States; he has some of his wealth placed in institutions here and they told him "NO- you can't do that." Brothers and sisters- either we play a game of deception- at one time we are with them and at another time we are against them; or we maintain our good company with Allah throughout all of this stating the truth- the whole  and exhaustive truth. If that means we have to point out to these renegades who have parted with Allah and His Prophet and who have taken a position against the interests of the Muslims and express that, we will express that until Allah puts an end to their behavior or He puts an end to our relationship with Him- by death or by any other means.

 

Brothers and sisters...

Our commitment with Allah remains until the final moment in life. The Prophet says if the final day was to erupt upon one of you and you have a plant in your hand, go ahead and plant it. We don't know a moment, (even if it's the last moment in our life), in which we do not do what we do and do it for Allah. It is sorrowful to look around and see that we have inferior types of Muslims who will never be able to get it- it seems like. Here, in this country we have an election fever that is just beginning and because some Muslims got burned in the last two elections are remaining silent- not that they've changed their hearts or minds on this issue- NO- they still have their favorite candidate; other Muslims have drifted with the media. There's a particular candidate- an African American one- who they think will make a difference in the course of this country. These people are just out of touch. There is an anti-Islamic animus- un-mistakable deep down inside the political establishments of the West. For those who may be a little sensitive about the United States, take a look at distant Europe- in the past couple of weeks, (remember the outcry, fuss, commotion and pandemonium that was brought about concerning the images of our Prophet in the press in Denmark- when was that? A couple of years ago?), now observe the difference between what happened a couple of years ago and what is happening today. Today, 17 periodicals in Denmark and four major/mainstream journals or newspapers print these images- does this indicate that the West is understanding Islam more or that the West is increasing its hostility to a larger and more profound level than was the case before?! The Arch-Bishop, the leader of the Anglican Church, also just a couple of weeks or so ago comes out with what seems to have been an objective statement. Being that the Muslims are around two-million who live in Britain, it might be advisable to think about how to incorporate Islamic personal law into the British legal code such as is the case with Judaism and Christianity. Then, not only do members of his Church hierarchy turn against him, but also the mass media turn against him- does this indicate that there is some type of success in communicating our Islam with the powers that be?! A Muslim Member of Parliament in Britain, (we reckon), his name is Sadiqh Khan, is having a conversation with a Muslim in-mate, (this is supposed to be in confidence), and then Scotland Yard or some other intelligence service in Britain was spying- they had a device and they were listening in on this confidential conversation between these two Muslims. Yet all of this is not on the Muslim  public radar. 15 fascistic right wing parties meet in Antwerp, Europe, and what are they discussing? They are discussing promulgating new laws to make it impossible for Muslims to have a social presence in Europe. A billionaire from the extremist right-wing political spectrum in Europe is elected in Switzerland as a major figure, but what's on his mind? Laws such as Muslims can no longer build a minaret to their Masajid. You tell us- these developments in Europe are only the tip of the Iceberg or groundswell of the anti-Islamic feelings that are shared between Europe and it's Governments and the government here, in Washington DC. If we can understand the climate that we are in and if this is the trend of the future, then why are they shining and polishing an African American, (not a phony African American), person to possibly become the future President of the United States which has some of our Muslim brothers, especially our African American brothers, emotionally involved?! This is a fact- let's not run away from a fact. Just like we had some of our immigrant Muslims eight and four years ago involved, now we have the African American Muslims involved majorly- more than the immigrant Muslims. You see- both of them are committing the same mistake. If it there was possible for Ash Shaytaan Al Akbar in Washington to use African Americans in the State Department- you saw Colin Powell and you see Condoleeza Rice and how they were used and what the results were concerning Muslims and oppressed peoples in the world. Now, imagine what they are thinking on and planning if they are placing an African American to be the President of the United States? Much more than what we have been seeing in the past eight years! That will serve a dual purpose at least; they have many fringe benefits to their decisions- a couple of them are that the traditional Muslims who are locked into cultures will say "at least this person may have a soft spot in him for Muslims because remember, his father was a Muslim from Kenya, Africa," (imagine how much mileage that will have in the ignorant areas of Africa), and then he lived with a Muslim family in Indonesia, (imagine how far that will go in repairing the damage that the US has in that part of the world?) Then, if they are planning big stuff when it comes to wars in Africa and Asia on a scale that will pale Afghanistan and Iraq, then they will have a component of national unity in the United States because the African Americans community will feel less resistant to object to a President that is in its own image when he embarks on such hostile policies in the future. They need social cohesion- "you're an American and the Afro American communities" so come together. They don't want to see riots in the cities in the future and that's why much of this money is going his way. That is to be expected, but what is not to be expected is for the Muslims to fall for these types of gimmicks! But this is what happens and always will happen when we step out of the purview of the Qur'an and the Prophet and are consumed with the media and the opportunistic Muslims that feed off the general information in the mainstream media.

audio on http://www.islamiccenterdc.com/khutbassermons.htm (22-02-2008)

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