Khilafah by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi

It is an undeniable fact that for the past many centuries, the word khilafah is being used as a term. However, it is certainly not a religious term. It needs to be understood that religious terms cannot be coined by scholars like Razi, Ghazali, Mawardi, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Khuldun. Similarly, not every word which Mulims start using in a particular sense becomes a religious term. On the contrary, religious terms can only be coined by God and His messengers, and are acceptable only when their meaning as a term is validated from the Qur’an and Hadith or other divine scriptures. Words as sawm, salah, hajj and ‘umrahetc are regarded as religions terms because God and His messengers have accorded them this status, and have used them at various instances as terms. On the other hand, the word khilafah is a word of the Arabic language and means “vicegerency,” “succession,” and “political authority.” It is used as a common Arabic word in one of these meanings at all places in the Qur’an and Hadith. It may be noted that certain verses of the Qur’an have generally been cited to convince people that they are used as terms. In all such verses, people have actually not translated the words khilafah and khilafah in the translation of the verses and have kept them intact in their original Arabic form. By doing this they want to give the impression that these words have been used as terms. If all these verses are looked up in any authentic translation, one will be at a loss to understand how this inference was made, just as one of my critics seems to be at a loss at the inferences made by me!

Presented below are the Urdu translations of two very competent scholars:

1. Verse 40 of Surah Baqarah

And when your Lord said to the angels: “I have to make a na’ib(deputy) in the earth.” (Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir)

And when your Lord told the angels: “I will make a na’ib (deputy) in the earth.” (Mahmud al-Hasan)

2. Verse 26 of Surah Su‘ad

O David! We have made you a na’ib (deputy) in the country; so govern people with justice. (Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir)

O David! We have made you a na’ib (deputy) in the country; so govern people with justice. (Mahmud al-Hasan)

3. Verse 55 of Surah Nur

God has promised that those among you who have accepted faith and have done righteous deeds, in fact He will in the coming times make them hakim(rulers) in the country the way He made hakim (rulers) those prior to them. (Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir)

God has promised those among you who have accepted faith and have done righteous deeds, in fact He will in the coming times make them hakim in the country the way He made rulers those prior to them. (Mahmud al-Hasan)

The words na’ib and hakim used in these verses are translation of the Arabic words khalifah and istikhlaf, and it is quite evident that they do not have any religious connotation in them except if a person claims that every word used in the Qur’an becomes a religious term.

Similar is the case with the Ahadith and Athar. The word khalifah and all its derivatives are used in them in the same meanings as the ones stated earlier. So much so, in one Hadith, the word khalifah is used for God Himself in the meaning of “successor”. It is for this very reason that when meanings such as “rightly guided government” or “government in accordance with the way of prophethood” need to be expressed, then words such as rashidah and ‘ala minhaj al-nubuwwah have to be appended with the word khilafah. By regarding such appended words to be understdood with the word khilafah, our scholars have made khilafah a term. As such, it certainly is a term of political science and sociology of the Muslims just as the words fiqh, kalam, hadith and other similar ones have become terms, but it cannot be regarded as a religious term. No one except God and His Messenger has the authority to coin a religious term. This is solely their prerogative. If some word is regarded as a religious term, then it has to be deduced from the words of these two authorities. It cannot be adduced from works like the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun.

As far as the view is concerned that according to Islam there should be only one global government in the world, it is evident to every person of learning that the Qur’an is absolutely devoid of any such directive. Two Ahadith are, however, cited in favour of this view. One of them is: God’s Messenger (sws) is reported to have said that prophets ruled the Israelites; so, when one of them passed away, another would take his place; but there is no prophet after me; however, there will be rulers and they will be plenty. It was asked: “What is your directive about them O Prophet!” He replied: “Fulfil your oath of allegiance with the first one and then with the one who is the first after him,” (Bukhari, no. 3455; Muslim, no. 1842). The second Hadith is: “When the oath of allegiance is pledged to two rulers, kill the second one,” (Muslim, no. 1853). Though this second narrative is not sound as far as its chain of narration is concerned, yet even if it is regarded to be correct, it is an incontestable reality that none of these Ahadith state in any sense what has been derived from them. What is said in these narratives is that if Muslims pledge their oath of allegiance to a ruler and then another person rebels against him and invites people to pledge allegiance to him, then each Muslim should adhere to his first oath of allegiance. Moreover, if the second person claims to be their ruler and some people even pledge their oath of allegiance to him, then he should be executed.

Such is the nature of these directives that their cogency can be made evident to every person. Thus, after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) when a member of the Ansar tribe suggested that a ruler each from the Ansar and the Muhajirun should be appointed, ‘Umar (rta) on this very principle opined that two swords cannot exist in one sheathe, and Abu Bakr (rta) also cautioned people at this instance that a state can only have one ruler. This is because such an arrangement will result in severe differences, disorder instead of order will arise and the discipline of the state will be ruined, and instead of [following] the way on which the Prophet (sws) left his people this religious innovation that one state will be governed by two rulers will emerge. (Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Sunan al-kubra, no. 16549, 16550)

If the ascription of these Ahadith to the Prophet (sws) is correct, then they imply what has been explained above. No logic can adduce from them that Islam has directed its followers to set up a single government in the whole world. Similarly, no reasoning can deduce from these narratives that if the adherents of Islam are able to convert the majority of people of other countries to Islam, then they cannot set up their own government and if they do so, as in the case of today’s fifty odd Muslims countries, they will be regarded as sinners.

Scholars of Islam must bear in mind that the precepts of God’s religion must remain pure and unaltered. No scholar, jurist or Hadith doctor has the authority to make people liable for a directive for which the Almighty has not made them liable. Hence I have written and would like to repeat that the establishment of United States of Islam based on the union of countries in which Muslims are in majority can be the desire of every person and we can also strive to fulfil this desire, but this view has no basis that such a union is a directive of the Islamic shari‘ah defying which Muslims are committing a sin.

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

https://www.javedahmedghamidi.org/#!/blog/5aa583115e891e8f44a39f3f

Islamic Shariah

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 9.45.45 amIn the mountains of Northern New Mexico at the world famous Abiquiu Madressah, Hamza Yusuf elaborates on the six elements thatshari’ah seeks to preserve in society. Part of the widely popular Deen Intensive program, this session is an opportunity to see a unique side of Imam Hamza within the context of an informal and interactive study group. After a comprehensive look at how shari’ah preserves the deen, this session covers five other areas: the preservation of life, lineage, wealth, intellect and honor. Other topics discussed: religion vs. ritual, the power of superstition, morality, the permissibility of adoption, changing one’s name upon converting to Islam, punishment for theft and adultery, public/private education, and extremism.

The Six Elemnts of Shariah

  • Preserving the Deen i.e. Tawheed i.e. Islamic monotheism
  • Preserving life
  • Lineage
  • Property
  • Intellect
  • Honour

The Five principle of Jurisprudence

  • Intention
  • Certainty is the foundation and not ruled by doubt.
  • Difficulty necessitate facilitation
  • Harm is removed
  • Norms are binding

Reflecting on Al-Ghazali

The more I read and study Al-Ghazali (may God have mercy on him), the more I realise his work is relevant for us in the 21st Century. His focus was the human heart. He realised that all of our actions were ultimately a derivative of our spiritual state.

Deeply studying the Quran and Prophetic traditions, Al-Ghazali understood that the human heart was the locus of felicity. If it was pure and sound, we would attain success. If it was corrupted and hardened, we would face self-inflicted degradation. From his work we understand that our hearts – in their constant wavering – must be softened with the remembrance of God and kept in check by traversing the path of annihilating the ego.

Al-Ghazali’s work is so relevant for us in our era. We live in a time that celebrates the ego. Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not referring to other communities – as many like to point the finger and externalise blame. I’m referring to the Muslim community. Just reflect on social media. Everyone wants to be right, no one wants to be wrong; everyone wants to look good, no one wants to look bad; everyone wants to impose, no one wants to be imposed upon. These are the elements of the ego.

Reflect on the Quranic character of shaytaan (interestingly the root of this word means to be away; in essence, removed from God’s mercy and guidance). He disobeyed God and did not bow to Adam. He thought he was better than Adam. He implied God was wrong. He wanted to look good and he did not want to be imposed upon. He refused to obey the ultimate authority: God. From this point of view, shaytaan is our teacher. He teaches us what not to be. He is the ultimate manifestation of a grotesque ego.

Recently, I’ve noticed these elements of the ego in myself, and unfortunately in others. When the general public have come to hear unsubstantiated claims about someone’s sin or mistake, many of their reactions have been nothing short of shaytaanic. Condemnations, hatred, ridicule, self-righteousness, mockery, haughtiness, arrogance and judgements abounded. How many of us had the initial reaction of sadness and concern for the one who may have fallen prey to their lowly desires? How many of us actually supplicated to our Lord to forgive them, elevate them, and shower them with His boundless mercy? How many of us adopted the Islamic ethic of rejecting and disbelieving all unproven accusations? We have been so quick to attack and condemn. We reduced and defined the person by their alleged mistake, not by their consistent goodness.

In reality we saw our selves in the sinner. We didn’t like what we saw. So we turned into devils.

We failed this spiritual test. We sought to destroy the one who erred and in doing so built ourselves a larger ego. This spectacle of egoism says more about ourselves than anything else. We salivated like a pack of hungry hyenas, devouring a rotten carcass. However, while masticating on the flesh and bones, we realised that we were eating our own selves. This self-cannibalism exposed us. It brought out the worse in us.

We must reflect on our inner selves. What motivated these reactions? Why were our responses so dark? Why have we forgotten that we are reflections of each other? Why have we forgotten our sublime ethics?

“The believer is a mirror of another believer.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

We have become blinded to the fact that the reflection in the mirror is our own selves. Someone’s sadness is your sadness. Their happiness is your happiness. Their sin is your sin. When we see a blemish in the mirror do we wipe the mirror, or ourselves?

Let’s not forget that a grotesque ego is worse than the sins of the limbs. So what this must teach us is – using the words of Al-Ghazali – that if we aspire to the achieve the state of a tranquil soul, “do not occupy yourself with admonishing others if you have not first admonished yourself.”

May God purify our hearts.

If only we knew.

“The Day [of resurrection] when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to God with a sound heart.” The Qur’an, Chapter 26, Verses 88 to 89

[If you found this beneficial please share]

—� Br Hamza Tz.

Image Courtesy: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/300826450104449560/

The Moon’s Size

“One of the sign of hour is that people see a new moon and think, due to its size, that it is two days old.”

In fact, I have heard this remark on countless occasions from Muslims who see a new moon; because it is over thirty hours old, which is when new moons are normally sighted, they think it is too big to be a newborn crescent and declare that is at least two days old.

This results from people’s alienation from natural order and the fact that few modern people ever observe the phases of the moon from birth to conjunction and rebirth.

In another extraordinary hadith, the Prophet s said, “Among the signs of the end of time is that the crescent will be seen with the naked eye, and it will be said, “This is two days old.”

In another variant, the narration states,

“Among the signs of the end is the hopping of the crescents (intif’ju l-ahillah).”

Imam al-Ghum’rÏ’s interpretation is that the news of the crescent will spread immediately throughout the world. [Since the word is taken from the hop of a rabbit (intafaja l-arnab, the rabbit hopped)]. And God knows best.”

— Taken from a lecture series by Sh Hamza Yusuf.

Image courtesy: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/393150242460084986/

Subjective Conscious Experience

Science rests on philosophical assumptions. There is no philosophy free science. So if you want a deeper and more accurate understanding of the implications of scientific conclusions, then study philosophy. Otherwise continue to drown in a puddle thinking it’s an ocean.

It is somewhat frustrating that some of the loud evangelical atheist voices online completely disregard this point. (Please note people are different. Not all atheists are the same, and there are many intelligent atheists who understand the point I’m making).

Take neuroscience as an example.

Neuroscience’s assumption is that neurobiological events are in some way the same as subjective conscious experience. This assumption cannot be demonstrated scientifically. Philosophical enquiry is required to demonstrate the coherence and validity of such an assumption. Nothing neural could justify that assumption because neuroscience requires it as a starting point to make sense of subjective consciousness. Professor Raymond Tallis (who is an atheist) discusses this point from the perspective of neuroscience:

“If we could obtain a complete record of all neural activity, and we were able to see the firing state of every individual neuron, would this advance our understanding in the slightest?… For this to be the case, one thing at least would necessary: we would have to be sure that neural activity we observed was in some strict sense identical with consciousness… we need to move on from the technical limits and methodological muddles of scan-based cognitive neuroscience to the conceptual, indeed philosophical, problems neuromania ignores.”[1]

Hence, neuroscience cannot fully explain subjective consciousness because it stops at neural activity which is based on the assumption that neural activity is identical to subjective experience. However, as discussed above, this clearly moves away from observation to philosophical reasoning. Philosophers of mind, Riccardo Manzotti and Paolo Moderato, summarise this point:

“There is a big difference between the experimental validity of neuroscientific research as such and the unwarranted mental ontology it conveys.”[2]

(Final note: I do appreciate everyone is on an intellectual and spiritual journey, including myself. So no hating, and let us all display tolerance and humility 🙂😉)

[1] Tallis, Raymond, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity. (New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 84.
[2] Manzotti, Riccardo, and Moderato, Paolo. “Is Neuroscience Adequate as the Forthcoming “Mindscience”?” Behavior and Philosophy 38 (2010):
[3] Image: https://neurosciencenews.com/consciousness-vibration-10217/: Image Link 

Hamza  Tz.

The result of chance

Imagine you woke up one morning and walked to the kitchen to prepare your breakfast. As you approached the kitchen table, you found two pieces of toast with your favourite chocolate spread all over them. However, the spread has been arranged into the words ‘I love you’. You are surprised, but why? Do you think that the pieces of bread somehow managed to toast themselves, and the chocolate spread was able to arrange itself in such a way—all by chance? Or do you assume that your loved one decided to wake up a little early and prepare the toast in advance? Every rational human being on this planet will deny that it happened without any intention or cause; blind chance does not suffice as an explanation.

The universe is no different. It has an orderly and precise cosmic architecture that points towards purposeful design. The universe has the right set of laws to permit the existence of life, and it is ordered in a particular way to allow humans to flourish. If the laws were different or the universe did not contain a life-sensitive arrangement of stars, planets, and other physical things of varying sizes, you would not be here reading this book. In fact, there would be no human life at all.

Consider another analogy. Imagine you are an astronaut working for NASA. The year is 2070, and you will be the first human being to visit an Earth-like planet in another galaxy. Your mission is to search for life. You finally land, and as you get out of your spaceship, you see nothing but rocks. However, as you continue your travels you eventually find something that looks like a huge greenhouse. Inside, you can see human-like creatures walking around, eating, playing, working and living normal productive lives. You also notice plants, trees, and other vegetation. As you approach the structure, friendly ambassadors receive you and invite you in. During your initial meeting with these friendly ‘aliens’, they tell you that the structure has the right levels of oxygen. It also has adequate amounts of water and chemical compounds to facilitate the production of food and life-supporting vegetation.

Amazed by what you hear, you ask them how they managed to create a fully functioning ecological system that sustains life. One of the ambassadors responds, “It happened by chance”.

Immediately your mind starts to comprehend the implications of such a ludicrous statement. The only possible explanation for the structure is that it was designed by an intelligent being, not some random physical process.

As these thoughts run through your mind, another ambassador interrupts and says, “He is only joking.” Everybody laughs.

If a small ecological structure on a rocky planet evokes the conclusion that it must have been designed, then imagine what we should conclude about the whole universe. The universe and everything within it obeys physical laws. If these laws were different there would be no complex conscious life. The universe contains billions of stars and galaxies. Among the countless galaxies occur innumerable planets. One of these planets is our home, Earth. Our planet contains trillions of conscious creatures. Imagine the conclusion we must reach if the reason these conscious beings exist is due to a sensitive arrangement of celestial bodies and physical laws.

The inevitable conclusion is simple, yet profound: this was not a result of chance.

Excerpt from

The Divine Reality: God, Islam & the Mirage of Atheism

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

My Dawa’h Experience with a Potential Undercover State Agent.

In this post i would like to share my Dawa’h experience. This experience is related to a specific event which is a kind of a learning in dealing with potential “state agents” “state intelligence officers”, “undercover agents” or “spies” you may call, who often disguise themselves as common civilans and try to probe people. I believe that this is good, as it helps in knowing potential trouble makers, terrorists or people with extreme ideologies who can harm fellow human beings. However, i also believe that, at times these tactics are used to fix vulnerable people in crime and carry out specific acts which helps state’s foreing policies in home policies and abroad.

In this example the conversation i am presenting and the person [referred Mr. X] i am referring is not confirmed to be associated with any state authority. This is just an assumption that he could be a spy and doing a regular investigation for potential security threats in the country. For some reason i am not disclosing the name/identity of this person.

The reason for such a discussion with you guys is to make people aware on how should we approach Dawah and avoid any situation of confrontation. As we all understand and practice the commandments of Holy Quran which command us to convey the message only and do not try to force, or take any means which is against the peaceful engagement. Though we practicing muslims who read and understand Quran understand these points, many people not, and hence these tests come while in Dawah.

Its worth reminding and explaining here why we do Dawah to a “larger audience”. There are few obvious questions which come in mind when people see muslims in field distributing Quran and Islamic literature.

  1. Are they here to convert people?
  2. Do they have any political agenda?
  3. Do they hate non-Muslims?
  4. Are they terrorists?
  5. Do they have any ulterior motive?

IMG_6899

We are not doing Dawah to go and convert people to Islam. Period. The affair of hearts belong to Allah and it is Allah’s divine wisdom that we have so many religions, phoilosophy, race and culture. We consider this life as a test for human beings in myriad of diverse situations which are not in human control and is a part of overall destiny of this universe. The diversity we see around is a part of the same wisdom and test and we should respect the status quo. We do dawah with a simple purpose to “convey the message of Islam” only since it is commanded to do so. It helps in dealing Islamophobia, interact with people and share common understanding.

We do not have any political ulterior motive. We do Dawah since we believe that there is a creator of this vast, precise and beautiful universe and the creator commands believers to convey the divine message to humanity. We believe in the message of Quran and the prophecies of prophet Muhammad pbuh which is taking the shape of relaity every day. Dawa’h is a common practice till the end of time for all muslims to practice as we believe that there is no more further prophet to come. We believe that in the day of judgement Muslims will be judged on the basis of how much they practiced and conveyed the message of Islam.

IMG_5755We can not invite people to the message of Islam unless we love, respect and understand people. Some people get this idea that we are boasting the superiority of Islam over other religion or religious superiority of muslims over non-muslims. This is not the case. What we are doing is first to “present the Islamic message” and then “to invite people” to true monotheism, which is an integral essence of all world’s major religions. Invitation and boasting superiority are two diffferent attitude. We believe that the concept of monotheism and the “word of Almighty God” is intact in its pure form, preserved in the Holy Quran. We are neither terrorists nor sympathises with any crime committed in the name of religion or any other non-religious ideology. We do not have any anti-state agenda in mind or any ulterior motive to participate in any unlawful activity against the state. Islam grounds you in humility, gratefulness and peace. Our believe and conviction is sourced in the divine message of Holy Quran.

Holy Quran says:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”

(Qur’an: al-Nahl: -16:125).

Further it says:

“There should be no coercion(compulsion) in religion’

(Qur’an: al-Baqarah -2:256).

It also gives us specific limits of discourse as:

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:107)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.

Hence, it is very clear with these verses that what we do is “to convey the message” of “submission to God’s will” only. We do not have any other intention. If people accept the message, reject the message, mock on us, abuse us or even harm us physically, we are not commanded to retaliate in any unlawful way in the course of Dawah. People who carry hate, will never be coherent with the message of love. We always pray for those who throw stones to our messages.

In situations where we face violent, abusive and coercive response we are commanded to practice patience (as in video above taken in one Dawah session).

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:68-72)

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him.

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَنْ تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ وَإِنْ تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لَا يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُوا بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۖ لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ

And leave those who take their religion as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded. But remind with the Qur’an, lest a soul be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than Allah no protector and no intercessor. And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it. Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned. For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to disbelieve.

قُلْ أَنَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُنَا وَلَا يَضُرُّنَا وَنُرَدُّ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ كَالَّذِي اسْتَهْوَتْهُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فِي الْأَرْضِ حَيْرَانَ لَهُ أَصْحَابٌ يَدْعُونَهُ إِلَى الْهُدَى ائْتِنَا ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۖ وَأُمِرْنَا لِنُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Shall we invoke instead of Allah that which neither benefits us nor harms us and be turned back on our heels after Allah has guided us? [We would then be] like one whom the devils enticed [to wander] upon the earth confused, [while] he has companions inviting him to guidance, [calling], ‘Come to us.’ ” Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance; and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.

وَأَنْ أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّقُوهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And to establish prayer and fear Him.” And it is He to whom you will be gathered.

Holy Quran, Al-Maaida (5:105)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.

Holy Quran, Aal-i-Imraan (3:20)

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

So if they argue with you, say, “I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, “Have you submitted yourselves?” And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.

If we study Holy Quran, we will notice in numerous places Allah tells believers that the guidance is Allah’s affair and Muslims are only commanded to present the message in the best way possible. This is Dawa’h and this is what we do.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

The person i am referring here (let’s call him Mr. X) was one individual who used to come to our Dawah table regularly. He used to discuss variety of subject. Religion, economics, prophecies and end of times. Long interesting conversations, sometime argumentative however it all turns in a graceful end almost all the times as our discussion were never personal and the open points were always discussed in next meetings.

Let’s look into the message exchanges now, and how it went further.

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 7.01.35 pm

One night, i got a disturbing video from Mr. X. In this video a lady was harassed and eventually someone was teasing behind her. If you notice the discussion as in image above, you can notice the provocation he is trying to generate. If you give a benefit of doubt, you may call the person too zealous, but a person in his 50s do not behave so impulsive to my experience. This was clearly an exercise to test the water. The reason i can think of (i may be wrong), is to test how this person reacts to such information.

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 7.29.37 pm

It may look a bit cowardice response, but this is how we should deal with whatsapp or any social media forwarded message. What can be done if an incident of such nature has occured. In Islam it is not advised to retaliate in a situation to satisfy self, but the action should be for the sake of Allah. Of course, if you are in the bus, seeing such incident happening, you will try to intervene. Any decent person, whether muslim or not, will try to protect a lady being harassed or molested. But, once the incident has happened the best we can do is to report it to proper authorities and assist police in finding the culprit and cooperate with judiciary.

You may also see from the content of message that he is trying to probe me and finding my response, that if i am anti-western or not. A person practicing Islam can not practice favoritism across any human being. Islam makes a person neutral to race, culture, country or color. The only boundary a muslim cares is the one drawn by Almighty which separates believers, hypocrites and disbelievers. Muslims do not have luxury to feel proud and practice hate. In Dawa’h we should be very careful to the intention and only if we are sincere to what we speak, will be able to stand in these tough situations.

Mr. X stopped communication after few days and he disappeared and i do not see him since then. His phone is not reachable.

May be Mr. X got the message that the Islam these guys on streets are talking is really a religion of peace.

I wish all the best for Mr. X. May Almighty guide you, me and rest of mankind in practicing peace.

 

We are deluded, deceived, and forgetful of God

In our universe, there are animals that can withstand their own body weight many times over, and seeds that can germinate from heat of fire. We live on a planet with over 6000 languages and over eight million species. We live in a universe where the human mind can discover weapons that can wipe out the earth, and produce ideas that can prevent those weapons from firing. We live in a universe that, if one one of its innumerable atom is split, can release an immense amount of energy. We live on a planet which, if hearts are united, can use that energy for peace.

Yet, some of us are not compelled to give God – who created the universe and everything within it – a standing ovation; to stand, glorify, and praise him.

We are deluded, deceived, and forgetful of God, the one who created us

“O Mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous?” (Quran: 82:6)

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

Forgiveness and Approval

If i were to put you in a room with all your favourite games, gadgets, friends, loved ones, food and drink, but you knew that in five minutes you, the world and everything in it would be destroyed, what value would your possession have? They wouldn’t have any at all.

However what is five minute or 657436 hours (equivalent to 75 years)?

It is mere time.

Just because we may live for 75 years doesn’t make a difference. In the atheist worldview it will all be destroyed and forgotten. This is also true for Islam. Everything will be annihilated. So in reality this world intrinsically has no value; it is ephemeral, transient and short-lived.

Nonetheless, from an Islamic perspective the world has value because it is an abode for getting close to God, good deeds and worship, which lead to eternal paradise.

So it is not all doom and gloom. We are not on a sinking ship. If we do the right thing, we can get God’s forgiveness and approval.

“There is a terrible punishment in the next life as well as forgiveness and approval from God; so race for your Lord’s forgiveness. — Quran 57:20-21

— Hamza Tz.

Indian General Election 2019 and Muslims

This post is to make an attempt in decluttering myriad of speculations, ifs and buts and related theories of Muslim position in upcoming general election 2019.

A brief background of last election times [2014]: While discussing the issue of political future of India in 2014, i saw many people talking about change. The general population, fuelled with precisely crafted campaign, media debates, anti-corruption movement and all the climax chose unanimously Modi as India’s Prime Minister. Modi chose to be called himself as a chowkidar (plagiarised from Nehru’s dictionary). I was (and still am) very vocal of anti Modi stance. The reason of such a stance was very conspicuous notion of him being an opportunist. The incident of Gujarat Massacre and his diplomatic silence over the killings of more than 2000 people in three days was a living testimony of his hatred towards Muslims. Those days and before, i used to visit some of my friends home and i used to see weekly newsletters by prominent Hindu groups praising Modi in terms of his image of being anti Muslim. However, we must realise that this phenomenal upsurge in Modi’s rise was not in vacuum. There was this hatred in general masses for Muslims well before in some selected classes of political quarters. Modi just mobilised them all in one force and bulldozed political landscape with this formula. This is a brief introduction of what i feel happened in 2014. By the way i lost more than 50 friends from my facebook account, thanks to Sangh, RSS and of-course Mr. Modi.

SalahWhat will happen in 2019 and what is the Muslim position?

It take some courage to go back and introspect on the ideology we believe in. For BJP, as stated in their website, it is very clear. There is no ambiguity beyond the shadow of any doubt that they want a constitutional change. They want to change India from a democratic republic to a “Hindu-Rashtra”. This will be followed by caste reinforcement, citizenship based on the Vedic classification of human beings in Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra of those people who reckon the Hindu Identity. Those who do not subscribe to this ideology are Malaicha (impure foreigners). There is a utopian dream of Golden Age restoration going to happen with this advancement. More like the way Trump is seen by Jewish zaonists in USA, is not so different Modi is to the Brahmin elites of India. They both are hand in hand with Israel’s Dajjalic system.

What is the opposing ideology? Well, if you see on ground, you will realise that there is none having a strong political presence than BJP. Communists, liberals or any other ideology in the end are part of the global new world order and will compormise at some point of time with the capitalist forces. In the end they all will fall to the same universal Dajjalic System.

Islam is very clear and each and every (major and minor) event is foretold to muslims in Quran and Ahadiths. If we look into Islamic eschatology, we know that before the end of times, world leadership is going to fall in the hand of “The Most Corrupt Leaders” humanity has ever seen. Subsequently the land will shrink to believing people and they will be termed as “Incompetent” or “Strangers”.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Islam began as a something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers.”

This is not astonshing if the Saffron forces win again. As the leadership of a community is as good as people themselves. We do not expect any miracle to happen. The ideology will take form in legislations and people will chose what they are going to accept. This is a part of the test everyone has to pass in this world, and if someone has not been tried, well this is all part of Allah’s divine will and mercy.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:155)

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,

One of the important aspect worth mentioning here is that majority of Indians as a community have rejected monotheism. In the last few years the message of Islamic monotheism was presented by figures like Dr. Zakir Naik to almost entire population in big events. However, people see these figures as political conspirators and reject the message. Before a community is assigned a tyrrant leaders and is destroyed, it is observed that (in the history of past generations) Allah makes the message clearly presented first and if they reject as a whole then the punishment follows.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

Also, the following passage is worth mentioning. Allah explains the duty of a Daee and divine will.

Quran 16:35-40

And those who associate others with Allah say, “If Allah had willed, we would not have worshipped anything other than Him, neither we nor our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything through other than Him.” Thus did those do before them. So is there upon the messengers except [the duty of] clear notification?

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.

[Even] if you should strive for their guidance, [O Muhammad], indeed, Allah does not guide those He sends astray, and they will have no helpers.

And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths [that] Allah will not resurrect one who dies. But yes – [it is] a true promise [binding] upon Him, but most of the people do not know.

[It is] so He will make clear to them [the truth of] that wherein they differ and so those who have disbelieved may know that they were liars.

Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it is but that We say to it, “Be,” and it is.

The situation we are in is a result of many factors. Many ultra orientalists and people who favour post colonial secular constitutional drafts blame the community itself for all the shortcomings. However, this is not the case always. The issues which effect the community as a whole is not in individual capacity of a person. In these situations we need a leadership which can strike the chord and ripple changes throughout. Also, we see that there are many factors which are divinely inspired and humanity just fall to the destiny of what Allah has planned. In any case, whether we see Saffron getting red with more innocent blood or is getting delayed or in worst case backdropped by Congress, the question is what should muslims do? Do they remain stuck in status quo? There are following five options i can think of.

  1. Do not participate in the electoral process and leave the affair to Allah
  2. Align with any force acting against saffron ideology
  3. Align with good people irrespective of ideological affiliations
  4. Align with the forces with power and leave your ideology behind
  5. Form your own leadership

Before answering or debating the options above, we muslims must introspect what Muslims stand for? Muslims, believe in one God (Allah is one of the 99 names attributed to one God), final messanger Prophet Muhammad pbuh, destiny, hereafter and ultimate justice in Qiyamah. The sole purpose of human being’s existence (as per Islam) is to be grateful to God’s mercy, to worship Allah by following commandments and doing good as advised in Quran and practiced by Prophet pbuh. The role of muslims (those who submit their own will to the will of Allah) is to convey the message of Islam (Dawah). To convey the message a muslim has to practice Islam in conviction and beauty by him/herself first.

Allah Says:

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. – Quran 3:110.

So, if we look deeply here, we will realise that the test in this world for Muslims is “how much they believe, practice and convey”? If we look in the current situation, we will find that majority of Indian muslim population is far away from the real teachings of Islam and by definition they are not practicing what they are told to do so. The Islam we see in community is a culturally distilled ritual sets we adopt for our life situations like birth, marriage, death and many other events. The topic of Islam is more discussed in situations like politics than back in home while making a personal decision. This leaves us in a very vulnerable situation where on one hand we are blamed for being “something” which we are “actually” not. I have seen many people becoming atheist just to escape this vacuum. Here we see that being a muslim is to have more responsibility as muslims do not have an excuse that the message of truth didn’t reach them.

Allah says:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” (Qur’an: al-Nahl: -16:125).

Also, Allah commands Muslims to convey the message and do not be like a manager over them.

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:107-110)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.

وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ جَاءَتْهُمْ آيَةٌ لَيُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهَا ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْآيَاتُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا يُشْعِرُكُمْ أَنَّهَا إِذَا جَاءَتْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths that if a sign came to them, they would surely believe in it. Say, “The signs are only with Allah.” And what will make you perceive that even if a sign came, they would not believe.

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَارَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ

And We will turn away their hearts and their eyes just as they refused to believe in it the first time. And We will leave them in their transgression, wandering blindly.

We know, and we believe that the situation in hand is all a test from Allah and every situation is a mercy from Almighty for us to look inside. The Muslim crisis in India and worldwide is a prophesiced phenomena and we can not alter what is being destined. But, we know from the book of Allah and sunnah of Prophet pbuh that how to deal with it. Now i will briefly explain the five options mentioned above.

Option 1: Do not participate in the electoral process and leave the affair to Allah: This is not a wise thing to do. In India, people have agreed to a constitution where everyone is free to believe, practice and preach the religion they choose. This agreement was made between many religions, caste, language, geography and accepted by our forefathers. So, we stick to it and will try to seek solutions to any problem within the democratic framework of constitution which effect us and community.

Option 2: Align with any force acting against saffron ideology. This may bring something, but is counterproductive in long run. We can not guarantee that the other ideologies are sound and will remain intact in future. There will always be a conflict of interest in situations where roads will cross.

Option 3: Align with good people irrespective of ideological affiliations. This option is obscure. A person with BJP is ought to echo party’s ideology. We can not expect a BJP member to speak against Manusmriti, cast system and Hindu Rashtra. He/She may be hypocritically plesant but will not work for any issue which is not in interest of party’s ideological benifit.

Option 4: Align with the forces with power and leave your ideology behind. You will leave Islam sooner or later. If you want to follow this path, you may get worldly goodies, fame but will fail in the divine test.

Option5: Form your own leadership. This is a sound position. I will explain now, why?

First of all, having a leadership of own do not make the community unconstitutional. There are many benefits to it and i will not go in every detail. If you look around, any institution or process or anything human or natural, if it survives, survive with a leadership. With a leadership, of course we will not change the course of destiny but will have at least a “say” in the system for all ill or injustice or the accusations. More from the points i discussed in earlier paragraphs on the populor ideology of Hindu Nation, muslims as a community will never have a constructive dialogue unless they have a leadership. But this is all an operational measure, or a tactical in some sense.

Holy Quran, Al-Maaida (5:48)

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

We know that the day of doom is approaching. Its signs are clear as day and night and the people who read Quran know what is happening around. In these situations the strategies we talk or the points we discuss is with the only intention that we Muslims live and die with the message of Islam. This is in no way to achieve a world dominance, or to alter the prophesied course (neither we intend nor we have any capability except what is bestowed as a mercy from Allah).

The evil forces may seem victorious on earth, with the heads high in arrogance but Allah says in Holy Quran about the ultimate fate.

Holy Quran 18:48-49

And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], “You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment.”

And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.

And if you fulfill the role of a Daee, they discussion which is bound to happen between angels and the wrongdoers will be a sign for your place in paradise.

Quran [67:6-11]

And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.

When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up.

It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, “Did there not come to you a warner?”

They will say,” Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ‘ Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.’ “

And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”

And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.

So, in summary, this election season is more to think how good Muslims we are than to think how to solve the community problem we have (though both are important). Goodness of community will follow what we practice. Specific to elections we must “find avenues to build a single leadership“. We have people on ground who are working on it. There are many “gray areas” and these “areas” are chicken and egg situations. In Muslim community itself, the goodness and integrity of a muslim’s practice depends on his or her understanding of Islam. This understanding can not be matured unless they try to read, understand and implement Islam. This calls for an educational awareness. It is not easy and will take ages if we set up the right leadership.

Allah knows best.