The importance of leadership in the Jama´ah
Imam Hajj Abdulhasib Castineira
الحمد لله على نعمة الإسلام والحمد لله على نعمة الجماعة والحمدللهعلى الأخوة والوفاء وعلى التعاون على البر والتقوى، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبَه وصفيَّه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانةَ ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
يأيها المسلمون! يقول الله تعالى في محكم آياته وهو أصدق القائلين:
اِنَّ اَ۬لذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اَ۬للَّهَ يَدُ اُ۬للَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْۖ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَيٰ نَفْسِهِۦۖ وَمَنَ اَوْف۪يٰ بِمَا عَٰهَدَ عَلَيْهِ اِ۬للَّهَ فَسَنُوتِيهِ أَجْراً عَظِيماٗۖ
Allah says in His noble Book, the translation of which is:
“Those who pledge you their allegiance, pledge allegiance to Allah. Allah’s hand is over their hands. He who breaks his pledge only breaks it against himself. But as for him who fulfils the contract he has made with Allah, We will pay him an immense reward.” (Surat al-Fath. 48:10)
This oath mentioned in this ayah is known as Bay´ah ar-Ridwan, and that is all in Surat al-Fath. Those who gave the oath of loyalty (al-bay´ah) in Hudaybiya, gave an oath to the Messenger of Allah and gave an oath to Allah, subhanahu wa ta ´ala. مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ : يقول الله Allah says: “Whoever obeys the messenger has obeyed Allah..” (Surah an-Nisa.80)
There is a sahih narration transmitted by both Bukhari and Muslim related by Abu Hurairah:
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه مرفوعاً: «من أطاعني فقد أطاع الله، ومن عصاني فقد عصى الله، ومن يطع الأمير فقد أطاعني، ومن يعص الأمير فقد عصاني«
The Prophet ﷺ connected obedience to him to obedience to the amir. He said ﷺ: “Whoever obeys me has obeyed Allah and whoever disobeys me has disobeyed Allah. Whoever obeys the amir has obeyed me and whoever disobeys the amir has disobeyed me.”
These words of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ are important and are relevant to us. The bay´ah is a sunnah. And it is a forgotten sunnah. The ceremony and the formality of giving the oath of loyalty to an Amir has a great blessing because it is an act of gravity and sincerity and because it is following the practice of the sahaba with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the salaf as-Salih, the early righteous generations of the Ummah. But the most important aspect is not the formality, but rather the actual commitment, the fulfilment of the oath of loyalty and obedience. This is the antidote to the poison of the individualistic way of life of our times.
The Hand of Allah is over their hands according to Imam al-Qurtubi it means: they promised loyalty to Allah, and Allah promised them recompense. They offered obedience and Allah gave them, guidance. Ibn Kisan added: the hand of Allah is above their hands means: the strength of Allah and His help are with them, above their own strength and their own resources.
No one should look at these ayats (about the Bay´ah ar-Ridwan) or any other ayats in the Qur´an, for that matter, as a narrative of glorious events in the age of the prophecy, but rather Allah is addressing Himself directly to us and to our situation. Each one of them is significant and incumbent upon us. The ayats of the Qurán are signs, they show the way of sanity and truthfulness, they indicate the path to attain the pleasure of our Lord.
Allah commands the believers to obey Him and to obey His messenger and to obey the people of authority among them. It is an obligation on the Muslims to live in jama´ah. This obligation is implicit in the command of Allah:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
You who have iman! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those who have authority among you (Surat an-Nisa´4:59)
The commands and prohibitions of the Qur´an are relevant and incumbent upon mankind, they are the path of success until the end of time, and the sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ is the correct guidance and the ship of salvation in the tempests of each epoch and age. The command to be united as one community is also implied in the ayat that we repeat every Friday, in every mosque:
وَٱعْتَصِمُوا۟ بِحَبْلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا۟
Hold fast altogether to the Rope of Allah and do not separate. (Surat Al-´Imraan. 3:103)
Allah subhanahu wa ta ´ala says:
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ ۖ وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
The translation of which is: And obey Allâh and His Messenger and dispute not with one another or you will be demoralised and you will falter and your strength will depart from you. And do persevere, for Allâh is surely with the patiently persevering ones. (Surat al-Anfal. 8:46)
And do not quarrel between yourselves, so that you will be divided, so that as a result you will split and distance from each other, and your hearts will separate. Your strength reehukum, the wind that blows in your favour, the favourable wind that makes you advance in the right direction and blows in the face of your enemies. Imam al-Qurtubi says in his tafseer about this ayah. Tadh-haba reehukum: You will lose your strength and your impulse, success will escape from your hands. Commenting on this ayah Mujahid ibn Jabir, one of the tabi´in and one of the most reliable commentators of the Qur´an said: In the day of Uhud the favourable wind abandoned the companions of Muhammad, ﷺ when they quarrelled. They disobeyed the command of Rasul and they disobeyed their Amir who had been appointed over them in the hill.
جَاءَ عبدُ اللهِ بنُ عُمَرَ إلى عبدِ اللهِ بنِ مُطِيعٍ حِينَ كانَ مِن أَمْرِ الحَرَّةِ ما كَانَ، زَمَنَ يَزِيدَ بنِ مُعَاوِيَةَ، فَقالَ: اطْرَحُوا لأَبِي عبدِ الرَّحْمَنِ وِسَادَةً، فَقالَ: إنِّي لَمْ آتِكَ لأَجْلِسَ، أَتَيْتُكَ لِأُحَدِّثَكَ حَدِيثًا سَمِعْتُ رَسولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عليه وَسَلَّمَ يقولُهُ: سَمِعْتُ رَسولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عليه وَسَلَّمَ يقولُ: مَن خَلَعَ يَدًا مِن طَاعَةٍ، لَقِيَ اللَّهَ يَومَ القِيَامَةِ لا حُجَّةَ له، وَمَن مَاتَ وَليسَ في عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ، مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً.
Abdullah ibn Úmar, may Allah be pleased with him and with his father, said: I heard the Prophet, ﷺ say: “Whoever withdraws his hand from obedience will meet Allah on the Day of Qiyamah and will have no argument in his defence. And whoever dies and does not have the commitment (literally, hanging on his neck) of ba´yah, (oath of loyalty to his Amir) he will die the death of jahiliyyah.”
This is a sound hadith, authentic and undisputed. The obligation of giving allegiance to an Imam, to the leader of the Muslim community is a sunnah. Being involved in the affairs of the local Muslim community is the pre-requisite to be involved and concerned with the affairs of the Ummah. Living and dying the death of Jahiliyyah is something that can be seen, does not need much explanation. Ba´yah is a sunnah, and it is a forgotten sunnah. The argument that Ba´yah is not incumbent since the time of the Khalifah Raashidah or that it is not obligatory to have a Muslim leader or that allegiance is only due to the Imaamatul-´Udhmah, The Khalif of all the Muslims, was already dismissed many centuries ago when there was an Omayyad Caliph in Córdoba and one Abbasid caliph in Bagdad. The people of knowledge unanimously agreed that oath of allegiance to the leader of the Muslims was obligatory to every Muslim, to whoever Allah had given authority in every place and time.
The community of the believers, above whom is the Hand of Allah is a sound social body cemented by the qualities of true brotherhood, and the marks of preference, mutual support, mutual advise and loyalty to their Amir. This is the only possible way of life for the Muslims. Strength is in the jama´ah. Allah loves those who love each other for His sake. The Amir doesn’t have to be a Scholar. He can have scholars to be his advisors. The Amir does not need to be a superman. His success is based on the good and sincere advice and the support of the men and women of his community. Allah helped His Messenger by His Own Help and by the help of the believers.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِۦ وَبِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
It is He who supported you with His help and with the muminun, (Surat al Anfal. 8:62)
There is the authority of the people of knowledge of Allah and knowledge of the Deen, the people of ma´rifah and the people of ´ilm, and there is the authority of the Muslim leader of the community. In the early generations of Islam those two aspects of authority where one and the same. In our time the recovery of sovereignty to our communities and to our Ummah will come from righteous leaders and actively committed scholars united and with mutual recognition, courtesy and respect, each one giving the other his due.
What seems now normal is not necessarily what is correct. There are many things that are not right and we know with knowledge of certainty that they are not correct, we know it in our heart and we know it because we have the confirmation of the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger. That certainty cannot be debilitated by any form of dominant opinion, political ideology or even by legal enforcement. Holding to our certainty is the internal strength of the believer. Holding fast together to the jama´ah is the collective strength of the Muslims as a community – and all strength is from Allah. All power belongs to Him and by being slaves to Him and obeying Him, by being thankful to Him we assure our success in this life and the Next.
What has happened to the Muslims that we are not strongly organised communities with clear leadership? Do we not know that whenever three people went on a journey the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would appoint one of them Amir? Do we not remember that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian slave whose head looks like a raisin.” Do we not hear the words of Allah:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
You who have iman! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in command among you? (Surat an-Nisa´4:59)
Since the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate and the last Moghul Dawlat in the Indian subcontinent, the traditional Muslim lands have adopted the political model of the nation-state and in that model Islam has been relegated to private practices of worship, the ´ibadaat, and personal morals. The only exception being Morocco where the leader of the nation is the Ameer al-Muminin. Instead of having civic leaders, the Muslim countries have accepted the new status quo and surrendered all their civic affairs to the political class while resorting to a sort of clergy that leads the prayers, conduct janazas, sees to weddings and teach Islamic sciences, turning a blind eye to a whole dimension of human life and therefore a whole facet of the Deen of Allah, the mu´amalat, which relates to integrity in the market place, avoidance of usury, stopping corruption, fighting injustice, collection and distribution of zakat and establishing the Deen in its full extent.
Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi may Allah be well please with him, says in his manual to Muslim leaders, The Muslim Prince: Zakat is the foundation stone of the State without usury and he adds: Zakat is the seal of the abolition of the mushrik system, called capitalism.
The present conformism with things as they are is a recipe to perpetuate individualism, to prevent the power of the Muslim community, the jama´ah, and to curtail the scope of the Din. This formulation pretends to restrict the relevance and validity of the Deen of Islam and to reduce it to a “religion” in the Christian and western sense of the word “religion”.
A strong Muslim jama´ah is not passive in the face of injustices and oppression. The Muslims are not tamed because we do not fear anyone other than Allah. Our struggle in this age, as in every age, is to strive together and unite to create, to defend and to protect a safe space where Allah can be worshipped, in which birr and ihsan can be practiced, to clean ourselves and our communities, in as much as we are able, from the filth of the haram that surrounds us, a space to raise our children in fitra and to which we invite others to live in the safety of Islam.
The ayah Hold fast altogether to the Rope of Allah and do not separate and the hadith of Abdullah ibn ´Umar… And whoever dies and does not have the commitment of ba´yah, (oath of loyalty to his Amir) he will die the death of jahiliyyah, are enough proof to provide clarity on this matter: the fact that Muslims are not permitted to remain leaderless. Giving allegiance to an Amir is a necessary part of the life of a Muslim and the fact that this has become strange, rare, and unusual in our time does not mean that it is not true and does not invalidate this important aspect of our Deen. Many things are prevailing in our time that are incorrect, unjust and corrupt, contrary to the Deen of Allah and we know with knowledge of certainty that they are the cause of anger from Allah. Our certainty is over and above the prevailing tides of opinion, the dominant ideologies and the discourses of the kuffar.
اللهم أرنا الحق حقاً وارزقنا اتباعه وأرنا الباطل باطلاً وارزقنا اجتنابه
Allah make us see the truth as truth and grant that we follow it.
Allah make us see the false as false and grant that we avoid it.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه. إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم.
عباد الله! أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. أما بعد !
يقول الله تعالى: إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُقَٰتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَٰنٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ
Allah tabaraka wa ´ala says: “ Allah loves those who strive in His Way in compact ranks like a well-built wall.”
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ ﷺ: كُونُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ إِخْوَانًا لَا تَعَادَوْا وَلَا تَبَاغَضُوا سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be servants of Allah and be brothers. Do not be hostile to one another and do not hate one another. Follow the right course, be correct, seek nearness to Allah, and give glad tidings.”
Allah says: “Cooperate in virtue and right action and taqwa and do not cooperate in evil and oppression.” (Surat al-Ma´ida. 2)
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Verily Allah is pleased with you for three things and He is angry with you for 3 things:
- He is pleased with you that you worship Allah alone and do not associate anything with Him.
- That you hold all together to the rope of Allah and that you do not separate.
- That you give good advice to those Allah has given authority over your affairs.
He is angry with you for three things:
- Gossip. قيل و قال
- Asking too many questions
- Squandering wealth.”
Allahumma give strength and cohesion to the Ummah of Islam and strength and unity to our community. Allahumma give us a certainty that fortifies us to take upon ourselves our own share of responsibility, Ya Allah give us leaders with taqwa of You who will rise the banner of Your Din high and make them and us worth to be in the company of Rasulullah in this life and in the Next.
Allahumma give us correct knowledge of the Din and grant us the courage to act according to that knowledge.
Oh Allah bless the founder of this Mosque and this community Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi and multiply his reward. And give your support and the support of the believers to the Amir of this community and give him strength to carry out his duty and inspire in us loyalty to assist him and to share that responsibility.
O Lord, grant Your clear victory to the one
who takes charge and empowers the Deen,
And help him, O You Who are forbearing, and help his party
and fill his heart with what will make him pleasing to you.
O Lord, help our Muhammadan deen,
and make it end mighty as it began.
Muslimun and muslimat! Be thankful to Allah for the gift of Islam and show gratitude to the Messenger of Allah by asking blessings on him abundantly, after every prayer and particularly on the day of Jumu’ah and more so in this month of Rabi al-Awwal. The month of the Moulid of the Rasulullah.
عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّه ﷺ أَكْثِرُوا الصَّلَاةَ عَلَىَّ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَلَيْلَةَ الْجُمُعَةِ فَمَنْ صَلَّى عَلَىَّ صَلَاةً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرً
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعن عائشةَ وسائر أزواج النبي، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أرحم الشيخ عبد القادر، مُؤَسِسٌ هذا المسجد، وأجزه عنها خيرَ الجزاءِ
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمَتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ،
يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ.
وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ… يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ