Hajj Abdarrazaq Redpath
15th October 2022
Audhu billahi-minash-shaytanir rajeem
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
We are gathered here this weekend to celebrate the birthday of Shaykh Abdalqadir as – Sufi. To really celebrate him we need to remind ourselves of his teaching and what he brought us throughout his life. He did not call to himself, but to the remembrance of Allah and His Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, and what was established in Madinah as a blueprint for all of mankind, the Deen established and practiced in its purest and most perfect form.
As he said at the start of Root Islamic Education:
“Islam is not, and can never be, by definition, in crisis or need of revisionist change, Islam, Kitab wa Sunnah, is immutable in all places until the end of time. It is itself a critique and balance-principle against which all human ventures must be measured and themselves revised and changed”.
Throughout his life, he constantly called us to action, didn’t allow us to be fixed and stay the same from one year to the next, was always calling us to change, to movement, to go beyond ourselves, to be free men, to become a complete person and to reach the summit of what we are capable of, to become those people who are free in acceptance and rejection.
He often asked us to do the most impossible things, but there was always a lesson in it, he knew power belongs entirely to Allah and that it can only be attributed to Him, and us imbuing anything else with power is a shirk.
So nothing is too big to do when trying to establish what Allah has commanded, and in how He has instructed us to live. We often look at the world and see ourselves weakened and as though we can no longer practice and establish what the Deen has commanded of us, or even try to correct what is wrong and re-establish what is missing as the structures and systems of the world we live in seem so fixed and solid, but that is nonsense, nothing is fixed in life, nothing, and we have to view existence through the lens of la howla wa la quwwata ila-billah and protect ourselves from seeing power lying with anything but Allah.
No imagined human structure, idea or system can stand up to what Allah has commanded, we will not always know the way, but we need to act, and if we act according to what we know Allah will give us knowledge of what we do not know.
Shaykh Abdalqadir on many occasions told us we must know the age we live in and he saw this clearly.
One of the biggest idols of this time is the financial system and the money we use. He saw through the illusion of it while the whole world, including the Muslim world fell for it entirely. A financial system that we have all seen and are seeing has brought destruction to the planet, its forests, its oceans, its air and all the creatures it contains.
A financial system that contains Riba in every transaction, transactions that all of us and everyone on the planet make every day. Riba, as all of us know, Allah has declared war on, and has said, is 40 times worse than sexual intercourse with your mother in front of the Ka’bah. Imam Malik said, “There must be no usury (Riba), even to a blade of grass”. When reflected upon, truly reflected upon, the weight of this is vast. Do we want to be part of something Allah has declared war on? No, so we must return to what is permissible.
The financial system in which we are in, Shaykh Abdalqadir used to say, is a deception like the deception on which Fir’awn governed and empowered himself over the people of Egypt, by illusion, and people giving that illusion power. While all people had fallen for it Shaykh Abdalqadir was seeing through it and telling us of its destruction and how it has tainted everything we touch in this age.
In everything he was reminding us of our primal contract with Allah, when He, subhanahu wa ta’ala said, ‘Alastu bi rabbikum’ and all of mankind responded yes, and that we are the ones who Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, chose to remember the contract and follow the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, for the reawakening of the Deen in the time we live, in its original Madinan form, where there is no separation between the ‘ibada and the muamalat.
This again was an ongoing reminder from Shaykh Abdalqadir, ‘ Deen al Muamalat’. The perceived separation between ibadat and muamalat does not exist. For the true Mumin, there is no ibada without mu’amalah and no mu’amalah without ibada. They are inseparable. Our entire lives are opportunities to worship and with each act of worship, we interact and engage with aspects of our Lord’s creation. This deen is not a religion, it is a life-transaction, which, when practiced properly, brings justice, prosperity, health and equilibrium to the world and all who live in it. Shaykh Abdalqadir once said that the byproduct of Islam is civilisation, which we have seen in every age that we had Khilafah and when the deen was established in its complete form.
He told us that beyond being part of the Darqawi tariqa or the Nakshabandi tariqa, we are all on the Tariqa Muhmmadia and that this reawakening and establishing of what is missing in the deen is all of our obligation. We have to all constantly re-evaluate what matters in our life according to the great wisdom of the light of the Deen of Islam that Allah has given us.
One of the mightiest obligations upon all of us is to raise the fallen pillar of zakat, so it is collected, distributed and given in the ways commanded by Allah.
To do this we must have an Amir, as Shaykh Habib Bewley, said in one of his khutbahs on zakat, ‘an essential aspect of zakat can only be fulfilled with leadership. That leadership is clearly lacking in the modern era, the khilafah has been gone for the better part of a century, but that does not stop us restoring the correct forms. This deen did not start with a massive state with tens of millions of people under one central authority, it started with a single community in a single location. And that community had a leader. That is the only way for a community to be a community – to have a leader.
Allah says in surat at-Tawba:
“Take sadaqah from their wealth to purify and cleanse them.”
According to the mufassirun, the word ṣadaqa in this ayah refers specifically to zakat, and the Prophet is being addressed in his capacity as leader of the Muslims, not in his capacity as Messenger. So this instruction is directed at every Muslim leader.
This was the understanding of Sayyidina Abu Bakr, and so when the tribes who had paid zakat to the Prophet refused to pay it to him, he said:
“By Allah, I will fight anyone who makes a distinction between the prayer and zakat. Zakat is the right which is due on wealth. By Allah, if they refuse me even so much as a young billy goat they used to pay to the Messenger of Allah, I will fight them for it!”
He did not simply leave it up to their conscience, he insisted on them giving it directly to him and his representatives.
And that is the reality of zakat, it is taken and distributed by the authorities, not given and distributed by individuals. This was the understanding of the great men of this Ummah and is the position of all four of the madhhabs.
We have an Amir, Hajj Rhomeez whom we entrust with the collection of zakat, he takes our Zakat following the same pattern as that followed by the first ummah and this same form is followed by all our communities, throughout the world which the Shaykh set up.
And to further your understanding of the obligation and need for an Amir, I would recommend everyone study the Khutbah which Hajj Abdalhasib delivered on Friday.
I know most of you all know these things, but I am mentioning them because this is our task and our life’s work and what we have been entrusted with, the man that knows is not the same as the man who does not know, we will not be questioned about what someone else did, we will be questioned about what we did. We have to keep pushing ourselves in the same way Shaykh Abdalqadir would and hold fast to what has been handed down to us.
None of us should be put off in any way by thinking that by taking this work on, will it in any way prevent us from forging our own path in the world. This path is the path of success, in this world and the next. Madinah had everything, the most wealthy of people and the poorest of people, but they lived side by side and were the same, and us having both of these extremities is a sign of a blessed and true community, as the wealthy man must give and the poor man is in need, but we do not hold one over the other, we look to their heart and actions, as we know, the wali is hidden and can be anyone among us. We do not draw judgment upon each other, for none of us know our own destiny. We know from the Seerah that whom Allah has destined for the Garden is sometimes unexpected and what may take them there, a small act of generosity and compassion, and whom He has destined for the fire is sometimes unexpected and due to them looking down on others and being pleased with their own actions. So we rather have compassion, forgiveness and generosity with one another in the hope that Allah may have it with us.
When we act like this with one another, it builds a strong bond and brotherhood among us, Shaykh Abdalqadir has told us that this tariqah, the Tariqah Darqawiyya is a brotherhood, where our brothers are dearer to us than everything in this world. He said,
“bonded in all of you is that thing which the whole world is missing, the whole of a present civilisation is collapsing in front of your eyes, it’s disappearing, its crumbling and there will come big anarchy, big chaos, and at this point the only webbed human linkage that will exist will be the people who love Allah and who follow the Tariqah of the Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, the Tariqah Muhammadiya. In every place they are the people who will survive the storms and the tsunamis of events, that are already beginning to happen among us, and you will all be safe because you will hold together wherever you are, and you will form organisations and structures and patterns and plans that we can’t even imagine now, in order to survive these times. You will do it all in the name of Allah and by the bond that you have next to you, beside you, in front of you, the brothers of the Tariqah.”
Shaykh Abdalqadir established these communities across the world and imbued the qualities of khidmah, futuwwah and adab in the men and the women. Communities who at the heart of them had people calling on Allah in groups and in private, with the highest adab, gravity and sincerity. He showed us the adab that is due to the dhikr so that we may gain the most benefit from it and he told us that we must be consistent with it, especially the wird, which we have all been given the gift of, and must cling to, as it is a rescue and a guidance. Guidance comes from Allah, not ourselves, He is al-Hadi, and it is by holding to the dhikr and the wird that He will guide us.
We cannot stop at the dhikr though, we have to engage with the world, call people to islam and be on the path of fighting to put right what is missing in the deen.
The Sufis have always been at the forefront of upholding the deen. Shaykh Abdalqadir has told us tasawwuf is Futuwah, he said
“The subject of every Faqir is the matter of Futuwwah. Futuwwah is nobility, it is a spiritual nobility. It is the nobility of a warrior, not the nobility of a man in the civil order of society, but a man who is in the forefront of the struggle, fee sabilillah. Futuwwah is contained in the pure, noble man and women of Allah.”
This is what it’s all about, and it is something that comes with the whole body of the Jama’ah. One man cannot be it on his own. He cannot have this. It is a body of people that have it and it is excellence of character and behaviour.”
When we have communities bonded together in this way, with these qualities of futuwwah, birr, adab and asabiyyah, community under an amir, our actions, our working, our lived life will be a da’wa and an example to all people and will act like a magnet drawing in the best of people from every walk of life, people who have a recognition of the truth.
When in one generation during the time of the Khulafah Rashidun the Muslims were at the gates of China and at the gates of Europe, the land was conquered by the sword, but people came into the fold of Islam in droves, by what Islam brought and a recognition of its truth and justice. That same truth, justice and saviour the world is calling out for in this age. Great things start small and the way to restore this deen is not through some grandiose idea of khalifate imposed from above but by putting into practice the patterns upon which this great umma was formed.
This is what Shaykh Abdalqadir brought and has passed on to us and what we must continue. None of us can embody all of Shaykh Abdalqadir’s teachings alone, but all of us together united as a community can embody all of his teachings and, Inshallah, put them into practice in ourselves and in the land.
To finish I want to read out a small part from a talk Shaykh Abdalqadir gave, in which he said,
“The Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, was sent with the message, but he was sent for all of mankind, but remember you’re the people who have responded in obedience to the message, therefore you must understand that you have been placed as an elite over all the other people of the world. In that sense you must take on the responsibility that Allah has placed you in charge of all the creation, of the earth, of the oceans, of the air, of the creatures of the air and the creatures of the sea and the creatures of the land, they are all in your charge. You are responsible to see that they are guarded, and respected and allowed to perform as Allah has created them to do, but equally you are responsible for the age you live in.
You are the people who must take on the awakening of people to worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and to the obedience to the Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, you are the people who must lead by example, not by words, but by your presence and by your actions, the people who transform society in the age in which you live.
This is an age for the awakening of Islam, because in your lifetime up until now the message of Islam has not been heard or delivered, it is now in your hands, this has come to you and you must take it on, and you must do it in Jama’at, you must do it together, you must collaborate, and you must help each other, but remember that Allah has indicated in the Quran that it is sometimes a small amount of people who can change a very great situation, this is the destiny that Allah has brought you to and you have to fullfill it fee sabillillah.”
I ask Allah to bless the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, and his family and companions, and I ask Allah to bless Sayyidina Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi …and I ask Allah to bless, give protection and increase to all the Shuyukh of the Tariqah. I ask Allah to bless all the elders of this community wherever they find themselves, both the men and the women, those who are with us and those who have gone ahead. I ask Allah to bless them, give them increase, strengthen them, give them good health and to reward them endlessly and continuously for what they have done in their life. They stood shoulder to shoulder with Shaykh Abdalqadir through all his life, we look at them and see them, but they have laid the foundation for all we have, they gave up their youth, families, wealth, made Hijjra time and time again, held fast, taught us and still do teach us, they stood the ground and embodied what the Shaykh passed on to them and I ask Allah to bless them for all the actions they have done. Oh Allah! I ask you to let us honour them, speak well of them and look after them. I ask Allah to bless all of those who have gone before us, to give them the highest station and the company of the Best of Mankind.
I ask Allah to give success to Dallas College, increase it, bring it the students it deserves, let us realise the importance of it and Shaykh Abdalqadir’s aspirations for it, and the people who come out of it. I ask Allah to bless, give increase, protect and make the provision easy for all those who have been consistent with fighting to establish it over the past 20 years, I ask Allah to let them have planted a seed that will flourish and grow and one which we will see the fruit for many years to come.
I ask Allah to bless and give strength to all of us, give us the courage and generosity of the Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim. Make us people who’s brothers are protected against our tongue and to let us be people who see and speak the Haqq.