The Murabitun in the Eyes of the ‘Ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah

Abu Miftah – Islamic Historian

There are jama’ahs among the Muslim community that have existed for thousands of years establishing jihad fisabilillah – al-Murabitun is one of them. Nowadays they urge us to return to the ‘amal of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Sahaba, in upholding the Zakah and the Mu’amalah with Dinars and Dirhams.

In the history books written by the ‘ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah, the role and service of the Murabitun communities is often referred to as establishing the greatness of Allah’s deen – Islam. So, who are these Murabitun?

For scholars – tullab al-‘ilm – the Murabitun community nearly always alludes to the great mujahids of the generation of the tabi’in of the 1st century, such as Tariq ibn Ziyad, Musa iIbn Nusair and Abdurrahman ibn Mu’awiyah. Among the most popular of the prominent individuals of the Murabitun community is Tariq ibn Ziyad, who received a mandate from the Khalifate of the Umayyad Dynasty to summon the West – al-Maghrib – to Islam. The story of his struggle is the stuff of legend, beginning with his ordering his army to burn all their ships after they landed in southern Europe in the year 97 Hijrah (710 CE), at the place now known as Gibraltar – a British colony in Spain named after the mount known as Jabal Tariq, the former site of his army’s stronghold.

Historians relate that his policy was taken in order that the Muslim troops would have no other way to safety except the battlefield of jihad, except that they must combat the enemy until the last drop of blood! With a force of just 7000 troops, they had to fight 25,000 soldiers of King Rodrick plus thousands of christian volunteers from every corner of Europe. They fought and held out in the hills for months until Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, gave them victory, and Islam was able to stand in Andalusia for more than 800 years.

Tariq ibn Ziyad recruited the second generation (tabi’in) from the community of the Ahlus-Suffa to serve as the troops for the core of his army. These were actually the descendants of the poor Muhajirun community who had previously lived on the porch of the Prophet’s mosque in Madina at the time the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, was still alive. Their main task had been to recite Qur’an, study and do dhikr, and occasionally they become small traders or labourers. These were often called fuqara (poor) because of their poor economic situation. Perhaps from the root of the word suf (wool), people dubbed them sufi – the fuqara who wear blankets. Because 70% of their activitiy was only getting themselves closer to Allah by dhikr, they were not ‘sufi’ in the negative sense of the current pseudo-sufi tariqas that glitter in rituals of superstition and bid’ah! I hope the reader understands this so as not to be in error.

At the time Abdurrahman ibn Mu’awiyah became sultan in Andalusia, a former soldier of Tariq ibn Ziyad known as Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil, with the title Shaqr al-Quraysh (Hawk of the Quraysh), returned from overseas to his community, along with his family. First they built a fortress at the extremity of the North African mainland, that is, in the region called al-Maghrib (Morocco). This fortress was a guard post (ribat) on the enemy frontier, which in later days grew to become the city of Ribat or Rabat. They were its guards or sentinels (murabitun; sing.:murabit). Later on, people named this gathering of fuqara as Jama’atu’l-Murabitun (lit. ‘the Congregation of the Murabitun’), and it has existed up to this day, certainly with the pledge of allegiance to their Amir. This is one of the oldest communities. It is not like contemporary communities that later started springing up like mushrooms in the rainy season, and who claim that it is only they who are genuine, and then try to recruit the Muslim community!

Al-Murabitun, throughout their history, have always existed among the ranks of the Muslim Community. They have obeyed the appointed Caliph from generation to generation, from the time of the Umayyads up until the time of the Uthmaniyyah of Turkey, until the collapse of that Caliphate in the year 1924 CE. They tenaciously waged jihad for more than 1300 years, and did not slink away when confronted with power! They made do only with whatever provision was given them by Allah through hard work – fuqara. As a result, all the ‘ulama of the Muslim community respect this community, including the Wahhabi ‘ulama.

After 400 years of Islamic glory in Andalusia, the Christian nations unified their power and expelled the Muslim Community from many regions in Europe until there remained just one region. So with full power they laid siege to the city of Cordoba. The Amir of Cordoba, ibn Ibad, gathered together the ahlus-shura (counsellors) and asked their opinion about the option of Cordoba asking for help from the Murabitun dawlah in Morocco and North Africa. At that time the Amiru’l-Mumimin was a Sultan who was a virtuous warrior of Allah, Yusuf Ibn Tashfeen. The majority of the ahlus-shura then gave the advice not to bring in the Murabitun who were extremely poor desert dwellers, because they were worried that if the Murabitun saw the fertile land of Andalusia with all the varieties of luxury within it, then, after expelling the Crusader troops, they would then turn upon the kingdom of Bani ‘Ibad and conquer Andalusia.

So the Ahlus-Shura instead suggested to Amir ibn Ibad that it would be better for him to sue for peace with the Crusader army, than to entrust his kingdom to the Murabitun. With wisdom he said: “I think it would be better to become a camel herder than to become a swineherd”, meaning, “If I am captured by the Murabitun and they make me a slave, at the worst I will be ordered to become a camel herder, whereas if I am captured by the christians, they will enslave me as a swineherd …. consequently a person who possesses intellect and Iman certainly will choose to become a camel herder.”

Then ibn Ibad requested help from ibn Tashfeen, who was already 70 years old. When he was on the battlefield of jihad, ibn Tashfeen ordered his army to tie him to his horse so that he would not fall. Then the Murabitun fuqara gathered together from every direction and joined up with the remainder of the army of Andalusia, until the famous Battle of Zallaqa took place. Then Allah ta’ala gave victory to the people of Islam and Andalusia lived in the protection of Islam for another 400 years from that moment. Then Yusuf ibn Tashfeen left the battlefield and swore in front of the army of fuqara that they not take even the smallest portion of the ghanima (booty), but give it to the Muslims of Andalusia.

Nowadays, guided by Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi the fuqara of the Murabitun have returned to raise their banner to fortify the Ummah of Islam from the evils of the Capitalists and Imperialists who are the minions of the jews. In other words, they are making war on the biggest evil of humanity – the Global System of Usury, bank and paper money! People who think fairly, as Amir ibn Ibad did previously, certainly will stand in their ranks together with the Muslim community.

The reason for our defeat today is because we have been indifferent to riba, which nowadays resides inside our muamalah, i.e. by our using the connection of riba to paper money. However, Allah ta’ala and His Messenger only mention money as being gold or silver. Yet the enemies of Allah gather power from paper money – fiat money – in the market of riba, the currency of the world.

Come! Let us all think soundly and return to using the Sunnah of the Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Amal of Madinah of the 1st century Hijri. It will not be an excuse, simply because a person does not like the name al-Murabitun (sufi), if the result is that he chooses Hell instead of obedience to Allah and His Messenger. I implore you to have wisdom.

The source material for this was:

“Tarikh al-Maghrib wa’l-Andalusia” – Dr. Hussein Mu’nis;

“Mawsu’atu’t-Tarikh al-Islami” – Dr. Ahmad Shalabi;

“I’lamu’l-Anam bi Miladi Daulati’l-Islam” – Dewan Shari’ati’l- Islam al-Iraq.


via Abdalwasi McCormack


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