A MARATHON STRUGGLE
We have a world today that has reached its extent in its attempts at marginalizing, if not obliterating, the guidance of Allah. We are human beings- subject to the pressures and dislocated information that come out way (may be) thousands of times a day. (That is not an exaggeration for those of us who keep a close look on things and are thoughtful of what is happening around us. Being that we have spent 25 years out in the street and forced to pray our Jum'ah prayers in the elements, public and in the public eye. It is good to remind ourselves, (especially during times of vulnerability and susceptibility to the words that are deliberately calculated to deflate or destroy our spirits), that we are not here as a matter of our own decision. Some people may say that we are out here by "default" and some people may think that this is an incident that is not related to what is happening, (out there), in the world at large. For these weaklings in the hearts and minds), we remind them that Allah said to Nuh (alaih salaam)
We have as a matter of certainty, sent Nuh to his people... (Surah Nuh verse 1)
We should think about these few words and give them our God-given mind. Nuh was not sent to another people. Allah did not say La qad arsalna Nuh ila qawman aakharin; He said La qad arsalna Nuh ila qawmihi. Societies need a dynamic in and of themselves. This dynamic begins with Allah's mercy in dispatching to that society in the time of Nuh, (and in this society in out own time), individuals, a resolution and a resolve that can stand the course. This is something we should have assimilated many moons ago- Allah does not send preachers from one society to the next. We don't notice this trans-societal da'wah,(as it is today), on the trail of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah- they were all the substance and material of their own people; this is the will of Allah and it is His decree as history and life flows. It had to be Nuh- own of their own to speak to his own people. Likewise, (in today's world), when Allah wants to take a society to task it begins internally. From among these people Allah's words begin and His message is expressed. What is this? We sent Nuh to his people, then what?
... warn your people ... (Surah Nuh verse 1)
Nuh could have expressed good news to them, but what we understand from the words warn your people is that the society that he was located in was approaching a danger zone and they need to be warned, put on notice- they have to understand that if they do not take corrective action and measures they will self-destruct. If we, Muslims, who are supposed to carry this ancient and current responsibility do not realize that this society that we are living in is approaching a danger zone after which it will destroy itself, then we don't qualify to understand what Allah is telling us and we have disqualified ourselves from understanding what reality is reflecting upon us. Nuh spent more than our lifetime; our lifetime is a meager, (maybe) 70 to 90 years; (if we are very lucky we'll spend 70 to 90 years in "go".) Nuh spent around 1,000 years. (You can), compare the marathon that Nuh was in with the short course that we are in and then you have some people coming and complaining, "Well, hasn't it been enough that you stay the course for 25 years?! Isn't that enough?!" We don't know what's enough and what's not enough- this is not of our making. We don't calibrate or calculate what is enough and what is not enough. If we were to do Allah's will, which is required of us, these 25 years may have been too much or too less- we don't know! We submit to the fact that we are ignorant of the fact of how long staying with Allah is going to take? What happens in the dynamic? When we speak about Nuh, of course, we are speaking about an extended struggle, but it demonstrates to us what is required. People around him began to look the other way or make fun. They said to him
... warn your people ... (Surah Nuh verse 1)
So, are we going to say? Nuh was a failure?! Forget about 950 years that he spent amongst them, with today's mode of thinking some people- today's Muslims- if it were five years, they would look at Nuh or someone in the footsteps of Nuh and say "Well, this is a failure!"
With all their objections and haranguing he stayed or continued within this society on this course towards Allah for 950 years (Surah Al Ankabut verse 14)
When we take a look at the particulars of what happens in this long course of time, he says
O my Sustainer, I have approached, spoken to, communicated with and delivered Your message night and day ... (Surah Nuh verse 5)
Meaning, there was no recess period in this 950 years; it was a continuous attempt to have these people listen and come to their senses before it is too late. The 1st observation here is the intimate and heart-felt relationship between Nuh and Allah. He didn't look to other people and powers when things were not going the way he expected them to go. He turned to Allah and spoke to Him as if Allah was in front of/with/around/beside him.
in all of this interaction for all of these hundreds of years this interaction with them only caused them to keep or increase their distance or flee from me... (Surah Nuh verse 6)
This dynamic that "is supposed to bring them to You is causing them to run away from me!" When we read these ayaat, place yourself in this weather, (the same elements, human beings, minds and psychologies that we had then we have today because these are human beings), that Nuh was in- they want to be left alone. "Don't talk to us about God, punishment, the life to come and justice- GO away!" Why? Because they want to maintain their status quo; the class of people who are making a lot of money want to continue to make a lot and more money; if there is a class of people who have just retired, they don't want to be bothered with this change in society that Nuh is speaking about. Again- this one-on-one relationship; where do you go when people begin to look the other way and make believe you are not saying anything or what you are saying doesn't count or there's not much value in what you speak or express. Is this something ancient or is this something that we find in the real world today? There are other details, (obviously, and maybe we'll have time in the future to cover these details), but one of the ingredients we have here is people who are running away from Allah's Messenger and thus running away from Allah Himself. Is the message that Nuh was explaining to them only one that speaks to them about what we call the fiqhi particulars of Islam? If Nuh was spending centuries with his people, what was he telling them? This is the way you clean yourself or this is the way you perform your Salaah?! Or was he telling them that if you continue on this social course- all of you, this society, (there may have been in his time hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands and the millions of you who are here today in our world), your administration, political hierarchy and influential elites then await Allah's judgment because you are going to be destroyed. This is the type of message that people who are in charge of social decisions don't want to listen to, but how many of us, Muslims, are expressing Allah's message in this range and towards this objective? We can say few of us and that's why the dynamic that we find ourselves in and around us and the transformation of society is pending. What happens to the society of Nuh at the end? It wasn't a war that put an end to them, it was a deluge or flood or (what they call today), an act of nature. Today, one of the successes that has been scored by those who run governments that are at war with Allah, (many of us can't see that we have governments, republics, blocs of nations and alliances that are at war with Allah), the question is "Why are we deficient? Why can't we see this?" Because the areas in our brains that are supposed to be receptive to Allah's words, information and data have been receptive to the data and information that comes from the contrarians to Allah and there they can look around and see the way this world is run with the wars that are taking place and the economic disasters. Right now, they speak even within their own vocabulary and control of things and say "Look- the United States is running into an economic disaster." Then, they want us to take a look at just these past few years- this disaster is not only an economic disaster, this is going to be a combined disaster of probably unprecedented proportions if these politicians here continue to pursue what is basically and essentially the toppling of the attribute of the Authority of Allah- that's where all the problem began. The problem has been brewing for centuries. Just like we look at the history of Nuh throughout centuries- social abandonment and then social opposition to Allah led by governments that have their militaries and think tanks- Allah is not looking the other way and saying "none of this is happening!" What do you think- do you want us to believe there's no upper/higher authority observing and noting a government that goes and drops all its military weapons of massive destruction on people thousands of miles? We are not fools; people who belong to Allah are not fools. We have an understanding and a sound sense of where this society is going and we can say "you are doomed" in the tradition and character of these Prophet if you continue in this path of inevitable destruction. Take a look, in describing his interaction with his people, Nuh is saying
... the more I speak to them the more they run away... (Surah Nuh verse 6)
You can see the same attitude if people are speaking the "language" of Nuh and Prophets today; you can see society that has been stolen by governments and illegitimate authorities behave the same way. They look and say "Wait a minute, we don't want to listen to this; leave us alone; keep your distance; stay away from us." That's exactly the meaning of this ayah. Then, what happened towards the end after Nuh did all he can? What do you want? Do you want Allah to give you 1,000 years? He gave uh 1,000 years or so- that's enough to be convinced of the results. There weren't going to be any results coming out of that type of society. Some of you, (Muslims), who are out there may listen to this- it isn't a few years and some of you give up or "this is not the right approach, let us infiltrate or make inroads or become members of the structure that is responsible for Allah's damnation!" That's how some Muslims behave today! (It's) a few years and they run out of scriptural gas to the degree that we hear some of them say "don't speak about an Islamic State." Where did this come from? You are dedicated to Allah and Allah wants you to be the master of your own future and make decisions with your own God-given, God-oriented and God-guided will and you come and they come and say "NO! This can't be done this way!" This is a failure on our behalf if some of us come and say "let's put aside this idea of having Islamic self-determination or an Islamic authority and (of course, this Islamic authority represents the word of Allah and the work of His Prophet). This is a sad comment on ourselves, but this is where we are and we can't just wiggle out of this just because some people say "this whole effort is going no where!" How do they know it's going no where? On what basis do they make that statement? Unless they happen to be ignorant of the Prophets, their history, What Allah is telling us and even the final Prophet (himself); (you see, this is human nature), when the people around him who had been in the struggle for many years came to him and they asked him when he was still in Makkah can't you ask Allah to expedite this victory for us? They're just asking him a favor, this had been a long struggle (even though) this was at the beginning of the struggle, this was still in Makkah it wasn't Al Medinah yet and they come to him and tell him to hurry up and bring about this final victory that he speaks about. Then, he turns to them and says bear in mind- before you there were people who would stand their ground on principle in opposition to these abusive and concentrated powers around? What would happen to them? They would be tortured; their flesh and bones would be combed with steel, in other words, they would be shredded alive. That didn't cause them to think "O when is Allah going to bring about victory and that did also not cause them to step out of this struggle?!" They remained or continued or were patient in adversity until Allah had the appropriate time arrive and His will was done. There may be a time, not after a very short amount of years, after an extended struggle with the status quo when we fee, (as human beings), that maybe nothing is going to come out of the society around us; Nuh felt the same way. After a lifetime of concentrated patience, he turned once again to Allah, (Do you see who he turns to? You don't turn to people who have money, offices and positions and you don't lose sight of who you are. You know that Allah is with you as long as you are with him; this is the dynamic here, he remains with you and doesn't give up on you unless you give up on him. After all of these years, when Nuh had reached the conclusion that there's no longer any hope in these types of people, (these were his own people, not some alien society or a culture thousands of miles away- this was hi cultural, racial and national flesh and bones), and he said about them
O my Sustainer- leave not a kaafir who will reside on this Earth or don't leave one resident kaafir in this World (Surah Nuh verse 26)
That statement did not come quick, it came after hundreds of years and it came in a timely manner. Once again, Nuh in another ayah
O Allah I am mistreated and overpowered therefore it is now Your time to declare Your victory
Meaning, he had nothing to do with it. This is when our relationship with Allah bypasses and outgrows those petty thoughts and immediate moments in our life when we wish some things could happen quickly- but they don't happen quickly. What happened at that time? This is the convergence of the will of a Prophet of Allah with the will of Allah, (Himself). When these two wills coincided with each other, this contrarian hostile society that was in opposition to Allah and His Prophets was terminated. It wasn't terminated because these Prophets and these types of people had the power to do so- they didn't have the militaries and military technology but they had Allah on their side; and having Allah on their side facilitated the final chapter that ended these types of societies that we are in. When we speak about these societies, they are not ancient, they are contemporary; we have the same elements today- if only we could penetrate, (with Allah's guidance), the layers of misinformation and ignorance that substitute for being Islam and Imaan.
Brothers and sisters ...
We live with a body of information that is meant, (without saying this to us directly, but in the sum total of this information), for us to lose interest, momentum and faith in Allah. They tell us that there is some "moral standards and foundations that people live by" and they refer these moral values and behaviors to the Bible and they say they learn this from the Judeo-Christian heritage or history. We are supposed to be moral human beings. They say "don't speak about politics" as if politics is an area that is exempt from this morality that they are speaking about. Today, (as has been the case in all of these years of our lives), they have been demonstrating with blood and intrigue how immoral they are. Have them account for their morality! What do they think? (Do) they look very moral here? Of course, we to them seem like we are just a few human beings in the street for the past quarter of a century- they can dismiss this, put on their radio or put up their window as they drive by. But there is a God who is watching; if they have a claim to that God, how do they answer to what they have been doing? This is in the heart of their Capital. Take a look thousands of miles away- what are they doing to other people? They show us their military and they bomb, kill, massacre and they have plans for ethnic cleansing that verge on genocide and they want to come to us and preach about morality- SHOW US YOUR MORALITY!!! But then, some of us where faith doesn't belong; instead of having faith in Allah, some of us have faith in these immoral Presidents, Prime Ministers and government functionaries of all ranks. They come and say "we're going to liberate you." Liberate us from what? (Do you) see same people here whose hands are dripping in blood go to these brothers in Iraq and say "we're going to liberate you." Liberate them from what? They were the ones who were occupying them; if they want to liberate them, they have to liberate them from their own selves!" But these Iraqis have faith in the Frankenstein in Washington DC. (Take a) look at what they're doing now- we spent around two years speaking on the issue that they have been working on i.e. Muslim kill Muslim. They wanted to stir trouble among Sunnis and Shi'is and even though they have only been relatively successful in that regard (as) they did not accomplish what they were projecting. Now, they want to stir trouble among Shi'is and have Shi'is kill Shi'is. What are we going to do now? Spend another two years speaking about differences between Shi'is?! We can't be on this type of defensive forever; we have to respond to Allah when he calls upon us in a healthy manner- pointing to these criminals in high office. Once we have an abundance of Muslims who can identify these criminals in high office, whether they are in Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh or anywhere else, at that time we have a healthy relationship with Allah, short of that we will continue to learn- we have these lessons, if we can only open up the book that calls upon us.
We've been coming here for 25 years- we want to explain something in a very meek way. You don't come here because your brother is giving the khutbah on Fridays; it's the other way around- this brother who is giving the Khutbah on Fridays comes here because you are coming here, (let's get that fact straight!) If you decide to move away from this God-given opportunity it is your decision. Let us remember that in the course of these past 25 years there were individuals who were inside the Islamic Center who have since passed away; and we are all on an expiration schedule, (we don't know- tomorrow, next year or sometime we're all gone), We ask them how are they going to account for their religious crime on Embassy Road in Washington DC that is linked to their other crimes of warfare and against humanity in other lands of the world.
Audio on http://www.islamiccenterdc.com/khutbassermons.htm (28-03-2008)
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