Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, created this world as a means. All that is, was and shall be upon it will cease to exist, in some cases almost as soon as it came into being and in others their non-existence is unknown to all of mankind. He tells us, subhanahu wa ta’ala, that the creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of man and nothing comes into existence without His will and command but with purpose and void of caprice. Everything created is a clue and an indicator of its creator and this it its purpose.
Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, tells us on the tongue of his prophet, Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, that He was a hidden treasure and desired to be known. He is the Light of the heavens and the earth, so in relation to His creation (if that can be said), He declares that He is its light. He also says that He created it ‘bi ‘l-Haqq, (with Truth), so we can take from His own words that He is its reality and it reflects that truth. The universe does not lie about itself or its Creator. This is important because there are those who say that truth is relative, which it is not, as we would have no access to certainty. Truth belongs to Allah and it is there for all to see, but most do not because of their own mound of rubble. It is inestimably precious and like all treasure it must be sought. Remember that the revelation of a secret is in the hands of its keeper and not its seeker.
The only part of this vast universe that has the potential to seek and discover truth are men and jinn, everything else from the angels to the smallest microbe are ‘hard-wired’ ROM components that do not change their character. We, the two of surat ar-Rahman, are changeable as is evidenced by what happened to the proud and cursed jinn, Iblis, on the one hand, and what the Rasulullah related about mankind when he told us that he had ‘only been sent to perfect good character’. So within this constant perfect universe there seems to be an unpredictable element that the angels questioned Allah about as being destructive and troublesome, as opposed to themselves and everything else that purely glorified Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala. The reality then, of these problematic elements was hidden to all but Allah, and the complaint of the angels has certainly proven true, particularly if we take the modern world as a collaboration of these entities made of fire and mud, however Allah showed them who Adam was and made them, the highest and purest element of the universe, bow down to the first man’s knowledge. His ability to name everything, alayhi sallim, is his attributing to each part its reality, knowing the thing better than itself.
Well, where are we now? It is 1432 years after the last of the messengers, Muhammad, sallalahu alayhi was sallim, left Makkah for Madinah and ten years later he completed what sayyidina Adam began. They and their brothers between them delivered the message that Allah instructed them to through sayyidina Jibril, alayhi sallim. There will be no more prophets or messengers and like the first communities in Madinah and subsequently all over the globe, it is up to the people of knowledge to carry on the task of establishing and maintaining what Allah has commanded to be put in place. But wait! There is nothing to maintain except an illusion of Islam. If you think Islam is building mosques, creating charitable foundations, wearing long robes and putting black bags over your women, while you accept democracy, international law, human rights and the most corrupt market place ever, you have reduced the message for convenience and fear of speaking out. You may come from generations of Muslims over hundreds of years or you may have embraced Islam today with no history or knowledge of its former glory, but you have to understand where you are today in relation to the supreme effort of your predecessors.
We have to start again; we have to go back to what happened in those first generations in Madinah. Whatever the continuity of the dynasties of Islam preserved and maintained in the past has gone; they were destroyed by the armies and banks of colonial imperialism; all those battles and wars fought fisabilillah were lost; Islam was overcome by the French and British and now the bankers disguised as the U.S.A. and that is why the world is in such a perilous state. What is left is a residue, a trace of what was there before in the best case and other than that is something unrecognisable; called Islam but far from the confident, merciful, expansive society that is Islam. There is a moralistic puritanism more akin to reformist Christianity than the Illuminated city of Madinah, and a totally pragmatic opportunism tolerating and even joining in with the despicable, godless practices of modern society. For example if we say a bank is haram, then an Islamic bank is doubly haram –an oxymoron if ever there was one- because the former is what it is, whereas the latter is pretending to be something it could never be, deceiving the Muslims into the haram. The Islamic bank is a litmus test of the ignorance of the so-called ulama and mawlanas who deceive their own people for a little gain. If they sign off on these transactions, literally or by verbal affirmation, nothing can be taken from them and they should not be followed in prayer. It is a duty of anyone recognised by others as knowledgeable in Islamic matters to speak out against this abomination, where silence is considered assent.
Let me say I do not wish to appear negative, but I think a little realism is required to awaken people we consider brothers and sisters. Nothing said is aimed at anybody, although I am sure people will recognise what I am talking about. The intention here is to create enough discomfort to consider moving, at least, to understanding where we are and what needs doing.
From their comfortable positions in modern society, Muslims like to give money for mosques and declare the universal brotherhood of Muslims; but there are mosques on the edge of the Fire and Muslims who are in fact Kafir through their hypocrisy; we must discriminate with what Allah gave us to discriminate with. As a people the Muslims must become socially active, not in the UN, human rights, missionary NGO charades, but in bringing back to humanity the clear message of our Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim. Islam is the final message of how humanity should live in all areas of life and an essential element of that is to govern according to the model of the first generations of Madinah. All the brouhaha of contemporary society has to be looked at through the clear lens of Deen, hence the necessity for genuine knowledge, from unassailable Fiqh through to ‘ilm aladuni, knowledge directly from Allah to those He chooses. Knowledge of the Deen brings tranquillity to the heart, certainty of action and reliance on a good outcome from the One who has all the power. Despair is impossible for the mumin, indeed it is part of Kufr.
The picture of Madinah al-Munawwarah is a community totally committed to implementing and preserving what Allah had brought to them through his beloved Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim. Each was a soldier protecting his community; a father, mother, brother and sister to everyone, not just their own blood. The norm was giving to others and the more the better because their expectation was firmly based upon Allah’s promise and generosity. It was a place where faults were overlooked, opinion and the hypothetical had little currency, censure was rare and preference for others was the norm. They fought and died for each other, killing their own kin to protect their brothers and sisters in Islam. These were the best people the world had ever seen, they were the companions of the best man that ever lived, and their children continued on the foundations they built. They did not create a university, state or organisation; they created a just, compassionate human environment that created men and women who chose to worship their Creator through knowledge and love and in that common love for Allah and His Rasul, they discovered that they loved each other more than anything in this world.
How can we settle for less than their most excellent example? The only thing that can unite Muslims is their love for Allah and His Rasul because that blinds them to every difference of origin, race, wealth or social standing. This love is a dynamic that compels those who have it to seek Allah’s pleasure and to be like the Rasulullah; to love what he loves and hate what he hates.
Islam begins in Madinah; it is there that bay’ah is given to the Rasulullah as leader, ruler, and the supreme authority over the city. It continues with his great companions, the Khulafah Rashidun and passes to the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties, while the Prophet’s own family ruled in Spain and the Maghrib until it ends with the Moghuls and then the Ottomans. Through all these centuries the Muslims had a supreme leader and around him were the men of knowledge; shaykhs of fiqh, kalam and tasawwuf, ensuring the Ummah was safe in it’s following of the original teaching, dealing with the ever-changing world around them, protecting and expanding the borders of Islam.
Well, where are we now? It is almost a century since there was a part of the world that was governed by the Book and Sunnah. There is no shortage of Muslims or Mumineen; Allah tells us, “a large group of the early people and a large group of the later people”, but not one of them is under a halal authority today; it is almost as if we are in the same position as the Muslims before the Hijrah, but the Rasulullah and his companions did not live passively among the Makkans; they annoyed the mushrikeen by calling them to Allah, worshipping in public; they were tortured, killed, expelled to the point of flight. They were harassed and squeezed out of Makkah, to be welcomed with song, joy and tears in Madinah.
Today the Arabs are competing in building the tallest structures and Muslims from all over the world are making pilgrimage to them; yes it is a pilgrimage! Surely Allah will destroy them as they follow the Kuffar down the lizard’s hole. Their majestic infrastructure is nothing but a spider’s web and I can feel the first breeze of a massive, destructive storm behind the mountain. Mr. Dylan the times have changed; get out into your back garden and start building that boat; there is a rising tide that will cover the world and the Mahdi will not save you; those waiting for him will be the first to drown, because they can only wait among the Kuffar, so where is the distinction that will keep them from disaster. The only distinct group will be those striving to obey Allah and His Messenger and whether it is the end of the world or not, they will continue planting the tree of Islam. This will be their identity, passion; their family will be those working at their side; we are certainly like the first community where brotherhood is greater than family. How can family be a solace in a society of oppression and injustice; it will only be a comfort to the one fighting for Allah and His Rasul and the Mumineen, otherwise the home becomes a place of fitnah.
Allah stir the hearts of the Muslims to leave their beds, houses and worldly activities for the greater and necessary work of putting back in place what those first glorious people established with their blood, wealth and selves, “because the Garden is theirs”.