Sunday, 2 January 2011


Islamic Belief and Rationality

To have faith in a creator is considered by many as equal to following something blindly. The rise of science and technology in the last 50 years has resulted in many people abandoning their religious beliefs and adopting the faith of science which concludes there is no need for a creator.

Names such as Richard Dawkins a staunch atheist regularly ridicules those who believe in a creator and look upon any person who believes in Allah سبحانه وتعالى as effectively contradicting the very make-up of a human being. Scientists as well as those who are smitten by the discoveries in the scientific world have over the years developed a number of theories which for them proves there is no such thing as a creator. These theories or arguments can be categorized as follows:

Scientific theories - based around the fact that Allah سبحانه وتعالى has never been seen, heard or touched so how could He exist, and all things are just different forms of atoms (matter) so there is no need for a creator.

Moral arguments - such as how could a creator exist and create so much evil, corruption, vice, wars and unhappiness in the world? Surely Allah سبحانه وتعالى would be all the good things such as love, peace and mercy.

Logical arguments - The ideas developed from logic include, if Allah سبحانه وتعالى is all powerful could he create a stone heavy enough that he couldn't lift and other questions such as can Allah سبحانه وتعالى create a wall even he couldn't climb.

Cult theories - These theories include that we may live in a matrix, aliens could have created us or even the devil may have created us.

Before looking at these arguments it must be understood that all of them are designed to try and prove that there is no need for a creator.

The limitations of science

There is no doubt, the development of science over the last 200 years has led to the creation and invention of technology and research which would have been unimaginable to all those in the 18th century. The genetic make-up of humans, the discovery of DNA, the motor vehicle etc are just some of the success stories of scientific development. However many who are mesmerised by science have tried to use it to suggest there is no creator. This is a complete misuse of science; this can be seen if we look at how science concludes facts.

The scientist would carry out an experiment in a laboratory and would subject the thing under study to various conditions such as extreme heat or cold and then see how it reacts in comparison to how it would react in its normal environment. From this, facts would then be concluded. Hence science can not experiment with those things which are intangible such as ideas, laws, history, behaviour and those things beyond the universe. This is because all these things are not tangible. You cannot take them into a laboratory and heat them or freeze them. Therefore it is impossible for science to experiment with Allah سبحانه وتعالى as Allah سبحانه وتعالى cannot be experimented with.

Many scientists argue there is no need for a creator as everything we see in the universe such as planets, humans, stars etc are just different forms of matter. They are just atoms which are arranged in a particular way and when a human dies as an example, they turn into dust which is another form of matter. However it is physically impossible for anything to change from one state to another on its own. Water cannot change into steam on its own, and ice cannot turn into liquid on its own. Both of these need something else to make the transition. For water to transform into steam it requires heat, and for ice to turn into liquid it requires a certain amount of cold. For transformation to occur any amount of heat or cold is not enough, but a specific amount is needed i.e. steam will not be generated from water unless the heat is 100 degrees; 80 degrees will not generate steam. Why will this only occur at 100 degrees? Why not at any other temperature? This is because the water, the heat and the steam have no will on deciding things. The rule of changing from water to steam at 100 degrees was imposed on them - they had no choice; if they did then they could transform at any temperature, not only at 100 degrees. This shows that it is wrong to suggest things are merely matter or atoms as something other then them is laying rules and controlling things, this can only be the creator.

Good and bad

Many believe that it's not your belief in Allah سبحانه وتعالى or following a religion that makes you a good person. Rather it's if you have good morals such as honesty, love, peace, mercy etc, and if these are the best morals then how could Allah سبحانه وتعالى allow so much oppression, wars, disease and disasters in the world? Surely this proves there is no creator?

This argument has a number of problems as it assumes Allah سبحانه وتعالى is like a human who has morals and it assumes humans created such attributes, hence Allah سبحانه وتعالى must have them aswell. If Allah سبحانه وتعالى was like a human then it means Allah سبحانه وتعالى would grow old and die one day no different to humans. This would be ridiculous to believe. Placing the blame for the existence of problems around the world is even more ridiculous as all of them are man-made. WWI was started by Britain as Germany was threatening Europe. WWII was again started by Britain along with Russia and France due to Hitler expanding Germany. The Iraq war was started by the US due to Oil. The war in Kashmir was effectively created by the British as they gave a majority Muslim land to India, and finally the problems in the Middle East were created by Britain who imposed Israel upon the people of Palestine. The oppression around the world is created and maintained by humans not Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

It must be logical....

The people who raise logical arguments in no way prove that Allah سبحانه وتعالى does not exist. Rather they raise circular arguments which go nowhere. Whether Allah سبحانه وتعالى can lift a stone, fly, climb etc in no way proves he doesn't exist. These questions in themselves are wrong as there is no correct answer to them whichever way you answer them. They are the same as asking, is Germany the largest continent in the world? Obviously it is not. However this means Germany is a continent just not the largest. The problem here is the question asked was wrong as it contradicted the definition of Germany which is that it's a country in Europe. Similar to this would be to ask, can the cat speak Chinese? Answering yes is irrational and answering no would mean the cat cannot speak Chinese but it can speak. Again the question was wrong as it assumes cats can speak.

Hence logical arguments are in fact illogical as they contradict the definition of what a creator is. So lifting, climbing, throwing etc are attributes of humans. How can humans use their attributes to describe Allah سبحانه وتعالى? This would be the same as one of us creating a drink, giving it a colour and taste and then the drink imposing restriction and rules for us. The created does not affect the creator.

Cult theories

One would think, with the development of science that more and more people would conclude that the signs in the world show us that there is a creator. However unfortunately more and more people are beginning to believe in the weird and wonderful. Keanu reeves film about the struggle of Neo against some supernatural force called the Matrix which controls everything raised the possibility that life as we see it may not be what it seems. Some, such as a group of scientists in the US called clonaid, even say that humans were created by aliens.

The problem here lies with the method of thinking, which is anything and everything is possible; there is no such thing as an ultimate truth. This type of thinking is encouraged in the West, as critical thinking is healthy and ensures only the strangest theories would remain as they can withstand the test from any suspect thinker. However ideas such as ‘we come from alien's' etc are physically not provable or cannot be verified by anyone who claims them. There is no evidence whatsoever of a Matrix. In fact you will never know whether the writer of this article is a human or some alien. Such thinking is irrational and in fact keeps you from ever believing in conclusive things which can be verified.

Islam and the mind

By using our mind and senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight which most humans have we can asses everything around us and conclude nothing in the universe exists on its own. All of them whether the leaf on a tree, plants, computers, cars etc rely on other things to work and survive and all of them are restricted by universals laws which they cannot go beyond. This indicates that they could not have created themselves and they cannot live forever due to their reliance on other things for their existence, which means there must be something other than them that brought them into existence. The creator cannot have any of the attributes of the created as this would place the creator in a situation of being created.

When the correct process of thinking is used it is inevitable that all people would come to the conclusion of a creator. It is only deviant thinking that has allowed evolutionary ideas to gain mainstream attention. The Islamic belief is a rational belief built upon the mind. Over 60% of the Qur'an discusses Allah's creations and orders all to think about the created. There are many verses in the Qur'an that ask all humans to think and ponder:

أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ

أَمْ خَلَقُوا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ

"Or were they created out of naught? Or are they the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they are sure of nothing!" [At-Tur , 52: 35-36]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ

"Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of Night and Day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding." [Al-Imran, 3:190]

Through the use of the rational method we can conclude the correct theories from the completely irrational

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Ulema's

Those who truly fear Allah are the Ulema...

"…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge (Ulema). For Allah is Exalted in Might and is Forgiving." [Al-Fatir: 28]

Regarding "…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge…"

Ibn Kathir stated that, "The more the knowledge of Allah and His (swt) power is complete, the more He (swt) will be feared by those who have the complete knowledge."

Imam Al-Qurtubi said that, "The scholars are those who know the power of Allah (swt). They are in no doubt of his (swt) punishment no mater what the sin is."

It was narrated by Ali ibn abi Talha that Ibn Abbas (ra) said, "The scholars are those who know that Allah is capable of anything."

Al-Rabee narrated that Ibn Abbas (ra) said, "He who dos not fear Allah (and His punishment) is not a scholar."

Ali ibn abi Talib (ra) said, "The true faqih is the one who will not make the people give up or lose hope in Allah’s mercy; an does not belittle disobedience to Allah; and does not make the people feel protected from Allah’s punishment; and does not leave the Qur’an deliberately (when judging) to judge by other than the Qur’an. A worship not based on knowledge has no value. And a knowledge with no understanding has no value. And a recitation without reflection has no value."

"For Allah is Exalted…" i.e. the One who punishes and rewards should be feared.

The amount of Islamic knowledge, however varies from individual to individual. Therefore, some will know more than others and will need to teach those whose knowledge is less. Those who have the knowledge of the Islamic rules are called ulemaa'. While they do not occupy any spiritual position in Islam, they are given more responsibility then others due to the knowledge they posses. They are the ones who teach the Ummah their Deen, help guide them through the problems of life and direct them to the Islamic priorities. Allah (swt) made it clear that His revelation is to be openly declared to all:

"And Allah took the covenant from those who had received the scripture to make it known and clear to mankind and not to hide it" (TMQ 3:187)

He (swt) has warned against hiding the knowledge, which He (swt), has entrusted us with. He
(swt), says:

"Those who hide the proofs and the guidance which We revealed, after We had made it clear in the scripture, on them shall be Allah's curse and the curse of those who are entitled to curse." (TMQ 2:15 9)

Allah's Messenger (saw) informed us of the status and importance of the scholars when he (saw) said, "Whomever Al1ah wants goodness for, he makes him understand the Deen (Islam)." [Al-Bukhari]

He (saw) also said, "The scholars on earth are like the stars in the sky. People are guided by them in the darkness of the land and the sea. If the stars are covered, people would get lost." [Ahmad]

So we are told by the Messenger (saw) himself that scholars play an important role in guiding the Ummah and championing its cause. They are most needed nowadays at a time when Islam is no longer implemented, shirk of legislation is the law of Muslims, division and fragmentation pervade the Ummah, and the Western nations dominate over us. They are desperately needed now to show the Ummah how to re-establish Islam, unite as one body and take control of the international arena. It is the scholars who must lead the Ummah in its struggle against the tyrant rulers who not only insist on implementing western laws on Muslims, enslaving them to imperialist masters, but also imprisoning, torturing and killing those who want to simply live by Islam. The Islamic scholars of the past played such a leading role. They always stood firm and favoured Islam and the well-being of the Muslim Ummah over any other interest, and sometimes even at the expense of their own lives. They feared no one but Allah (swt) and thus they spoke the truth with absolutely no compromise of Islam. This was especially the case when it came to the rulers and how they conducted their affairs.

Muhammad (saw) said, "Whoever sees an unjust ruler breaking the prohibition of Allah, breaking His covenant, disagreeing with the Sunnah of the Prophet, committing sins and creating animosity against the servants ofAI1ah, and he does not say or do anything against it, then it is the right of Allah to put him where he belongs (hell)." (reported by At Tabbai in At-Tarikh and Ibn Al-Atheer in AI-Kamel).

Muhammad (saw) also said, "There will be unjust rulers who cause hardship to their people. Whoever went along with their lies and helped them with their injustice, he is not from me nor am I from him, and he will not drink from the Al-Hawd (pond)" (Ahmad, An-Nisa'ii, At-Tirmithi).

The following accounts are examples of how the scholars remained steadfast to Islam and did not remain silent in correcting the rulers of their time. Their love of Allah was far greater than any fear of torture the ruler could administer.

1 - The scholar Imam Sufiyan At-Thawri said "when AI-Mahdi Abu Jaa'far AI-Mansoor (the Khalifah came to Hajj, he asked for me. So [his men] watched the house and took me at night. When I was before him, he sat me close to him. He said, "Why don't you stay close to us where we can consult you in our affair. Whatever you tell us to do, we will comply with it." I [Sufiyan] said to him, "How much did you spend on this trip [for Hajj] of yours." He said, "I don't know. I have trustees and appointees [to take care of these matters]. "I said, "What excuse will you have tomorrow when you stand in front of Allah (swt), and He asks you about it?" (Sufiyan then related the example of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab). Omar Ibn Al-Khattab asked his servant, when he performed Hajj, for how much did he spend on their trip? He said, "O Ameer of the believers, I spent 18 Dinars." Omar said, "We overspent from the Muslims treasury" (Sufiyan then added) You know, Ibn Mas'ood reported that the Prophet said, "A person who spends from the wealth of Allah and His Messenger [extravagantly], will be rewarded hell." One of Abu Ja'faar's aids said (to Sufiyan) "You say this to the Ameer of the believers!?" Safiyan answered him, with the dignity and strength of the believers: "Silent! It is Haman (minister of Pharaoh) who destroyed Pharaoh and Pharaoh destroyed Haman. (Meaning the one who gave advice and the one who should follow the advice destroyed one another when they did not do as they should.)."

2 - Hajeej Az-Zayyat was a scholar at the time of Hajjaj who was a tyrant governor of Iraq. Al-Hajjaj asked him, "What do you think of me?" Az-Zayyat replied, "I say you are one of the enemies of Allah. You break Allah's laws and you kill for mere doubt." Al-Hajjaj asked him, "What do you say about the Ameer of the believers Abdul Malik bin Marwan?" He said, "He is a bigger sinner than you. You are but one of his sins." Al-Hajjaj ordered him to be tortured. They split bamboo sticks and tied his flesh with it. Then they started splitting the sticks tearing his flesh with it. He died shaheed. He was only 18 years old; may Allah (swt) have mercy on him.

3 - Sulayman bin Abdul Malik stopped by Medinah on his way to Mecca. He sent for a scholar named Abu Hazem. Once Abu Hazem entered, Sulayman asked him, "Why do we hate death?" Abu Hazem replied, "Because you ruined your hereafter and took care of your life. So you hate to go from luxury to ruin. Then after giving him sincere advice, Sulayman asked him, "What do you say of me?" Abu Hazem said, "Do not push me to answer." He said, "It is advice. You must tell me." Abu Hazem said, "Your forefathers overpowered the Muslims and took over the ruling position without the Muslims consultation or approval. They also killed a great number of them. You should know their behaviour and what was thought of them. One of the people said, "How could you say this!" Abu Hazim said, "Allah took the covenant from the scholars to explain things to the people and not to hide (true knowledge)"

Imam Malik bin Anas stated: "It is a duty upon every Muslim whom Allah has given some knowledge or fiqh to confront any ruler, command him to do good, forbid him from evil. This differentiates the scholar from others when they approach a ruler. This is the status that is not surpassed."

The reader should compare the positions taken by the scholars of the past against unjust, yet legitimate Khalifahs and governors and those taken by nowadays scholars. Al-Jaahith reported in Al-Byan wat Tabiyeen that Muhammad (saw) was asked, "0 Messenger of AI1ah, who is the worst people?" He replied, "The scholars, if they become corrupt."

Imam Ali is reported to have said, "Two types of people I cannot tolerate are - a scholar who is shameless and an ignorant worshiper. The ignorant worshipper fools the people with his worship and the scholar with his shamelessness."

If these scholars were true Islamic scholars they would show the people by example, standing by the Islamic rule, even if it costs them their lives. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal realised his role as a scholar who is to show the Ummah that the Muslim is to fear none but Allah. He stated, "If the scholar uses Tuqyah (concealment of knowledge for one's own protection) in his answers, the ignorant person does not know, when will the Truth become known!"

These scholars have misled many people, especially those who have taken them as idols without knowing it. While denouncing imitation, they keep repeating what their scholars say, rejecting the tangible. We remind our brothers and sisters of a basic part of our Aqeedah called al-walaa wal- baraa' (allegiance to the believers and its supporters and denouncing the disbelievers and their supporters).

When a ruler rules by Kufr and scholars support him, what is their Islamic verdict? And what is our position vis-à-vis them? 0 Allah, have we conveyed the Message? 0 Allah be our witness!
Imam AI-Ghazali in Ihya'a Uloom id-Deen, volume 7, page 72 said, "This was the way and tradition of the scholars: commanding good and forbidding evil. They cared less for the might of the rulers. They depended on Allah's blessing to protect them and accepted Allah's rule of giving them the Shahadah. When their intentions were pure, their words softened the hard hearts. But now, greed has tied up the scholars tongues and made them quiet. Even if they talk, their speech will help none of the affairs at hand and thus they will fail. Had they told the truth and intended to give knowledge its due right, they would have succeeded. The corruption of the people is due to the corruption of the rulers; the corrupt rulers exist due to the corruption of the scholars (for the scholars are not speaking out against these rulers); and the corruption of the scholars is due to the love of wealth and power.

Whoever is dominated by the love of this world, he is so preoccupied that he is unable to question the general public. If he cannot even question the general public of their duty, then how will he have the capacity and the courage to question the rulers and those in higher positions?"

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


It has today become an indisputable reality that this Ummah yearns for the return of the Islamic Khilafah. She has witnessed much that solidifies this desire. Today, we find that Allah (swt) has brought back the desire in the hearts of the Muslims and this Ummah to return to the rule of Islam. Amongst them are those who are willing to dedicate their time and effort for the service of Islam. This article seeks to explain how such people can work for Islam and work for its noble aims.

Knowledge before action
Hazzam bin Hakeem narrated from his uncle from the Messenger of Allah (saw) who said: “You are in a time of many jurisprudents (fuqaha), few speakers/lecturers, many who give and few who ask; so action in this time is better than knowledge. There will soon come a time of few jurisprudents, many speakers, many who beg and few who give; so knowledge in this time is better than action.”

This noble advice by the Messenger (saw) builds the principle that Islam has always placed knowledge before action. It is saddening to see that amongst some workers for Islam, action comes before knowledge. This is highly dangerous, since we saw at the beginning of the last century a plethora of patriotic movements rising up against the colonialist occupation only to find that when the colonialists left they implemented the same secular models in their lands. Also we find today, under the banner of Islam, some Muslim governments conducting “experiments” for Islamisation, even though the Qur’an and Sunnah showed in detail the Islamic system, and this has been explained in many volumes of books.

Islam has placed knowledge and thinking as a precondition for action, and this ensures that the action undertaken is the correct action and that the action is according to Islam and is the correct action to achieve the aim. But the question may be asked - what type of knowledge is required? Here are a few areas that anyone working for Islam should seek to understand:

i. To gain an understanding of Islam and its basic concepts. These concepts need to start with the Aqa’id (belief) because this is the basis of all correct actions. A Muslim must be convinced of his basis, because under all strong structures lay a strong, solid foundation. We have witnessed, with great sadness, excellent people with much energy working for the goals of Islam one day and then leaving this work the other because their foundations were weak and all they had was zeal and desire rather than sound knowledge.

ii. To understand the Shari’ah rules. Islam has made it an obligation for a Muslim to understand the Hukm Shari’ concerning his actions. So a Muslim must be aware of his obligations. It is incorrect for a Muslim to work for Islam, yet fall short of abiding by the rules of Islam in his personal life. Again we witness with sadness many who openly call out against ‘Western culture’ yet in their own lives are engrossed with its films and music, soaps and trivialities the same West gives them. In understanding the Shari’ah rules, one must make sure he or she does not limit themselves to just a specific area which they are inclined to. Rather Islam needs to be taken completely.

iii. To understand the main points of Kufr. This area is unobvious to many. The Messenger (saw) used to know the thoughts of the Quraish so that he could speak out against them. Also Allah (swt) encouraged this, so in the Qur’an He (swt) points out on many occasions the contradictions that existed with the Mushrikeen. Today the Muslim needs to be aware of the dominant ideology, capitalism, its components and its contradiction with Islam. Again this knowledge requires more than just a superficial understanding such that the call of Islam becomes a general unconvincing call. When Allah (swt) says, "Say 'This is my way: I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted is Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikeen" [TMQ Yusuf: 108], he commands the knowledge to be precise. Today we need to understand globalisation, democracy, freedom, interfaith dialogue, and secularism amongst many other ideas that are invalid and cannot be adopted by the Muslims.

iv. Knowledge of the correct Islamic work. If a Muslim were to study Islam correctly he would find that Islam has placed the authority as the most essential organ to safeguard the rules of Islam and the Muslims. This necessitates that in the absence of this authority work is required to bring it back. The Khilafah is the only correct structure Islam has laid down, the Messenger (saw) said, “after me there will be no Prophet, but there will be Khulafah and they will number many”. So the correct Islamic work is to call for the Khilafah. That means to work to bring back its return. This work by definition is a political work, and thus requires an aware Islamic political party.

Apart from what has been mentioned above, a Muslim must seek knowledge continuously and must always strive to excel in his or her understanding.

Carrying Da’wa
If a Muslim was to engage in gaining knowledge he would realise quickly that knowledge without action is like a donkey with books on its back. This knowledge would be of no use to the people no matter how much he gained and how much of a faqih he became. Islam has said that the most essential component in carrying Islam and bringing back the Khilafah is to carry Da’wa. That is to invite people. Allah (swt) says, "Invite to the way of your Lord..." [TMQ An-Nahl: 125]. Also Islam has mandated that Da’wa should be carried immediately after knowledge. Never in the history of Islam has a Da’wa carrier stayed at home after being affected by Islam. The stories of the Sahabah (ra) are all an evidence for this. Also the Messenger (saw) said, “Convey from me even if it is one ayah”. The following needs to be kept in mind when carrying Da’wa.

i. Da’wa should be a focused work. The Muslims need to be told in a clear, unambiguous way that the many problems we see are due to the absence of the Khilafah and that Islam demands the Da’wa carrier to discuss this issue. Muslims must expose the plans of the West in our lands, their agents in the form of our leaders and all that stems from their corrupt ideology that distances the Muslims from uniting once again under this strong leadership such as the erroneous concepts of nationalism, pragmatism, gradualism and the like.

ii. A Muslim should not talk about what he does not know. The Messenger (saw) always sought revelation from Allah (swt) before he spoke a word. This forms a general rule that one cannot speak out of ignorance.

iii. Da’wa should be carried purely for the pleasure or Allah (swt). A Da’wa carrier must not seek benefit or position from carrying Da’wa. Rather he must do this purely for the sake of Allah (swt). This principle, that is to carry Da’wa for the pleasure of Allah (swt) if understood, will ensure the Da’wa carrier does not stray from his path and change his argument to suit the people.

iv. When carrying Da’wa nothing should interfere with the correct idea and the conveyance of it. The Messenger (saw) was the best example, and he conveyed this message without allowing egoism or personality into the discussion.

v. The call should be carried without compromise. It is not permissible to change the message in order to please the people or to win a temporary supporter. Rather this call needs to be frank, carried with wisdom, that is using the best of styles but conveying the haq (truth) completely. Furthermore the ideas that are carried must not be reconciled with the Western ideology and its standards. It must rather be derived purely from Islam.

vi. The carrier of the Da’wa must be ready to face the trials and tribulations that those who oppose it will place in his or her path. The only way to prepare for this is to have the clear knowledge of the key Islamic ideas such as al Qadaa wal Qadr, or Rizq (sustenance) being from Allah (swt), or Al-Tawakkul (reliance on Allah [swt]) amongst other ideas. Also they must equip themselves with the knowledge of the previous Prophets (as) and their companions and how they bore hardships and finally they must be close to the Qur’an as there is not any other book but this that has the ability to motivate, inspire and energise.

Working with an Islamic Party
Allah (swt) has made carrying Da’wa Fard upon every Muslim. He (swt) has also obligated upon the community to establish at least one group to call to al-Khair, that is Islam, to enjoin al-Maroof (all that is good) and forbid al-Munkar (all that is evil).

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an,

“Let there arise from amongst you a band of people, who call to Al-Khair, enjoining al-maroof and forbidding al-munkar. And they are those who will gain success.” [TMQ Ale-Imran: 103]

This ayah obligates the establishment of a group. If one was to study the nature of the task to re-establish the Khilafah one would find that for this work to be effective, there needs to be a collective effort. Furthermore the Messenger (saw) worked with the Sahabah (ra) as a group to change the Kufr society and transform it to an Islamic one.

There are some points to consider before choosing which group or groups are correct to ensure that the action undertaken is one with full awareness. As with all actions, Allah (swt) will account us for obedience to him and so to just choose any group would be impermissible, rather the one or ones that fulfils the obligation pointed out in this noble ayah must be considered. These are the points:

i. This group must call to Islam. Allah (swt) mentions in this ayah the word ‘Al Khair’, which is Islam. So if they were a nationalistic, democratic, capitalistic, socialist group etc… then they would not fulfil the command in this ayah. In fact joining groups who are based upon these foreign ideas or who call for such ideas would be sinful, as to call for these ideas and to gather around them is haram.

ii. This group must call to the vital issue, as defined by Islam. The vital issue today is the re-establishment of the Khilafah. It is the Khilafah that will implement Islam, and without it, it would be impossible for the society to adhere to all of the laws of Islam. By definition, calling for the Khilafah is a political work, as it involves changing the society to establish an authority and removing the present authorities based upon non-Islam. So this group must be a political group or party.

iii. It must have a clear method of affiliation. It has been observed that many groups are tarnished with infighting, strands, wings and the like. This is due to the members of these groups not having a unified aim and sets of ideas. Rather the people are often chosen because they show some sort of enthusiasm to do work regardless of them carrying the same ideas and aims.

iv. The group must have a ‘culturing process’. That is they must have a way of developing newcomers to the group as well as established members. This culturing must be taken seriously and all should need to go through it. This ensures they are built and developed with the Islamic culture, purifying their intentions and thoughts, building their concepts and strengthening their resolve. So the initial zeal and enthusiasm is transferred to a sound knowledge and consistent work. It is saddening to see the many who begin to work for Islam and then stop this work; this can generally be attributed to a lack of culturing with Islam in this group.

v. This group must be clear in its language, and bold in its actions - to enjoin the Maroof and forbid the Munkar requires from the Muslim to challenge all that is wrong and uphold all that is right.

vi. The group must study the reality clearly and comprehensively. Islam mandated that the reality in which the group works must be understood. This includes the study of the thoughts and ideas that exist in society as well as the plots and plans of the Kafiroon and her agent rulers in our lands. To just have a generalised understanding of the reality would not allow the people to understand the true nature of the problem we face.

vii. The group must not look down upon the Ummah nor abuse them for not working with them or not adhering to Islam. Rather it should seek to lift up their spirits, energise them, wake them from their slumber and bring about this change. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever says the people are destroyed are the most destroyed of the people.” [Sahih Muslim].

viii. The group should have a strong atmosphere that gels the members together. This atmosphere must be a pure one and it should be based upon seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt). We witness many groups that exist in the West that are run like a company, where the members have to continuously be forced to undertake actions. This is contrary to the way of Islam where the strength of the idea makes a person willingly want to sacrifice his time and effort. The Messenger of Allah (saw) wrote in a letter to Abdullah Ibn Jahsh, when he sent him to lead an expedition to keep an eye on Quraysh at Nakhlah, between Makkah and Ta’if: “Do not coerce anyone of your companions to proceed with you, and go forth with my order with those who follow you.”

These three points; gaining knowledge, carrying da’wa and working with an Islamic Party would be the practical way to work for Khilafah. So after this, we would say join this work with the sincere ones who seek to achieve the highest place in Jannah. Strengthen your resolve, for the Ummah yearns for change, and this change requires work. May our deeds be multiplied in reward in the eyes of Allah (swt) and may we become the ones who will be the “beloved” to the Messenger (saw)!

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said:
“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” It was asked, "Who are those strangers, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied, “Those that correct the people when they become corrupt.” This is the narration of at-Tabaraani in his al-Kabeer.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Political Awareness of the Hijra

The Muslims ought to be reminded of the events that took place to signify the Hijra. And what is incumbent is to reveal its essence so as to make the Muslims truly understand its meaning and significance as opposed to a mere spiritual tradition that is inherited like the other religions, or the events that resulted in a mere change in the recording of the calendar, much like the calendar of the christians. In order to portray its vital (ideological) aspects, that which is not discussed today due to its threat to the present regimes, it is necessary to first undertake a study of the Hijra from the authentic sources of seerah, and then to derive the meaning from it. The meaning that will draw attention to the real issues of today - that Islam is both a spiritual and political Doctrine - such that by it the generation of a momentum to revive the Muslim ummah will spring from it, and at the same time all will be made aware of it.

A study from the authentic sources of seerah

The Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered the Muslims in Makka to migrate to Medina in small parties, and so they began to migrate either individually or in small groups.

As for the political awareness of Quraysh with respect to the Muslims Ibn Ishaq states, "When Quraysh saw that Muhammad (saw), had assembled a party, and had support from elsewhere other than from the Quraysh and Makka, from a town other than theirs, and witnessed Muhammad's (saw) companions moving out to join these forces, they realised that the Muslims had found a new home with them and had acquired their protection. Quraysh were concerned that Muhammad would also leave them, since they knew that he had decided to do battle with them."

As for the actual Quraysh response to this situation ibn Ishaq states, "Quraysh were concerned that the Messenger of Allah (saw), would leave and join them (those from a different tribe), since they knew that he had decided to do battle with them. They therefore, gathered in Dar al-Nadwa - the House of Assembly - the home of Qusayy bin Kilab, where all their top-level decisions were made."

According to ibn Kathir, "Related from Abdullah bin Abu Najih, from Mujahid bin Jabr, that Abdullah ibn Abbas narrates the following. "The day arrived when they agreed to meet to enter their assembly to discuss what to do about the Messenger of Allah (saw). That day is known as yawm al-zahma (The Day of Gathering), and on it Shaytan, came before them in the form of a Shaikh from Nejd dressed in a heavy cloak. He stood at the door of the house, and when they saw him they asked who he was. Shaytan replied, "I come from Nejd, from the highlands, and I have heard why you have agreed to meet, and I have come to listen to what you say and perhaps offer some advice or comment." They invited him in. He entered the meeting where the Quraysh leadership were assembled. They consisted of Utba, Shayba, Abu Sufyan, Tai'ma bin Adi, Jubayr bin al-Harith, Abu al-Bakhtari bin Hisham, Zam'a bin al-Aswad, Hakim bin Hizam, Abu Jahl, Nabih and Munabbih, sons of al-Hajjaj, and Umayya bin Khalaf, along with various others of their supporters from Quraysh. They reminded one another of what they had experienced from the behaviour of Muhammad (saw), and agreed that they felt insecure (danger) from the possibility that he (saw), the Muslims, together with their material support (the chiefs of Medina), might make an attack upon them. Having discussed the issue, one of them said to have been Al-Bakhtari bin Hisham suggested, "Put him in irons and gaol him, then wait for him to have the same fate that befell poets before him, such as Zubayr and al-Nabigha. He would die as they had." But the Nejdi Shaikh objected saying, "No that is not a good plan. If you do shut him up, news of him will get right past the door you have locked on him and reach his supporters. They will promptly attack you and release him and then increase until they overcome you. That is not a good idea." They consulted further, and one suggested, "Let's exile him from our territory. Once he has gone we'll be rid of him and we'll be able to restore our affairs as they were before." The Nejdi Shaikh again observed, "No. That's not a good idea for you. You know how sweet his talk is, and his reasoning, and how he convinces others of his message. If you do that you'd have no security against him going to live with some Arab tribe and using his speech and discourse to get them to follow him. Then he would lead them against you and perhaps defeat or dispossess you and do what they like with you. No, think of something else." Abu Jahl then said, "I have an idea that hasn't occurred to you yet." "What is it?" They asked him. "I think we should select one young man from each tribe, and someone who is strong, of excellent lineage and reputation as a leader. We should give each one a sharp sword and they would go to him and use the swords to strike him in unison. They would kill him and we would be rid of him. If they do this, his blood would be spread over all the tribes. And Banu Abd Manaf will not be able to do battle against them all. So they will accept blood money which we can pay them." The Nejdi Shaikh commented, "What he says is right. This is the right idea, and no other." Having agreed upon this the assembly broke up.

Jibreel (as) then came to Muhammad (saw), and told him, "Do not sleep tonight in the bed you usually use." When it was fully dark that night the Quraysh men gathered outside his (saw) door waiting for him (saw) to sleep so that they could attack him. Having seen where they were, the prophet (saw) said to Ali (ra), "Sleep on my bed, and wrap yourself in this green cloak of mine from Hadramawt; sleep in it. You'll not come to any harm from them." The prophet (saw) was in the habit of sleeping in that cloak of his."

Yazid bin Abu Yazid relates from Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Qurazi, "The men met there at his (saw) door, Abu Jahl, who was among them said, "Muhammad claims that if you follow him you'll become kings of the Arabs and the non-Arabs alike. Then you'll be given life after death and be provided with gardens like those of Jordan. If you don't do that, then, he says, you will be slaughtered, given life after death but be put into a hellfire where you will be burned." The prophet (saw) then picked up a handful of dirt, saying, "Yes. I do say that. And you are one of them!" Then Allah (swt) took away their sight from them and they could not see him. He began sprinkling the dirt on to their heads while he (saw) recited the following verses from the Qur'an. "Ya-sin. By the Qur'an, the wise. You are among those who are sent forth upon a straight path", upto the verse, "We have placed a barrier before them and a barrier behind them, and have covered them over so they cannot see" [TMQ Ya-Sin; 36:3-9]. Every single man among them had dirt thrown on his head. He (saw) then left and went where he (saw) so wished. Someone who had not been there with these men arrived and asked, "What are you waiting here for?" They replied, "For Muhammad." "God damn you! Muhammad just came out to you and he did not leave any single one of you without throwing dirt on your head. He then left and went elsewhere. Can't you see what has happened to you?" Each man then placed his hand on his head and found dirt there. Looking closely they saw Ali (ra) on the bed covered in the green cloak of Muhammad (saw). They stayed there until morning; when Ali (ra) arose from the bed they said, "By God, what he told us must have been true!"" Ibn Ishaq says that among other verses Allah (swt) revealed the following. "And when the disbelievers plotted to confine, kill or exile you they made plans and He made plans, and He is the best Planner of all" [TMQ Al-Anfal; 8:30]."

Finally, Allah (swt) gave His (swt) Messenger the permission to migrate. "Say: O Allah, make my place of arrival good and make my place of departure good. And grant me an aid and an authority from Yourself" [TMQ Bani Isra'il; 17:80]" And ibn Kathir states that the event marks the beginning of the Islamic era as was agreed upon by the sahaba (ra), during the rule of Umar (ra) - Al Hijra.

All praises are due upon Allah the Almighty (swt). This was the move to Medina (which was also known as Dar al-Hijra), and it proved to be a turning point in the entire history of the ummah of Muhammad (saw), whereupon the Islamic State was established as a political entity that would influence the affairs of the world to come. The ideology was firmly established both in concept and in practical existence, and indeed this State, the very State that Muhammad (saw) himself established, continued in existence until its demise in 1924 at the hands of the colonialist disbelievers and their agent Mustapha Kemal.

It is here that we can make the following observations and deduce the political awareness of the Hijra in light of our present times.

1. The attempt to kill the Messenger of Allah (saw)

We learn from the seerah that the attempt to kill the Messenger of Allah (swt) reflects the fact that what the prophet's (saw) call represented was a grave danger to the very existence of the Quraysh such that their very survival was in question - the survival of that regional power. That one man and his (saw) companions, warranted elimination altogether, provides evidence that there was a danger to the Quraysh of the gravest proportions. So, what was this danger? What was the threat that Muhammad (saw) posed that could not be contained? That it became the issue of survival (life and death) of Quraysh? What was it that the kings and rulers of his (saw) day perceived? Here follows an explanation.

The key in understanding this is to realise that the prophet's (saw) call was not new to Quraysh at the time when they decided to kill him (saw). The verdict to kill him (saw) was issued at the gathering in Dar al-Nadwa, and immediately they moved to implement that plan that very same night. The prophet (saw) migrated to Medina and ibn Kathir mentions that, "Bukhari states that, "Matar bin al-Fadl related to us, quoting Rawh, quoting Hisham quoting Ikrama, from ibn Abbas who said, "The prophet's (saw) migration took place in the month of Rabi' al-Awwal in the thirteenth year of his (saw) mission, on a Monday.""" And ibn Ishaq stated that the decision to kill the prophet (saw) was issued only a day before. This means that the decision to kill him (saw) and the migration sequentially coincided and thus both events occurred in the thirteenth year of prophethood.

So the verdict of killing came only after thirteen years of experiencing the prophet's call in which his (saw) methodology was explicit in politically challenging the leadership in Makka, and where he (saw) called for its destruction and termination. Why did they only now after thirteen years of experiencing this, decide to kill him if his (saw) explicit call was not secret and his (saw) intentions for power and leadership were not concealed? The clear answer and explanation lies in the realisation by the Quraysh leadership, which lies in two significant factors:

a) The response of the strong factions within the society in Medina - namely the Nuqaba (Generals and Officers) - and,
b) In the implications of the migration of the Messenger of Allah (saw) to a society that had been prepared and displayed a readiness to accept the full implementation of the Islamic Ideology.

As for the first point, it reveals that the second pledge of Aqabah had been taken which meant that the ones in whose hands the real power lay, accepted rather than rejected the aim of the Messenger of Allah (saw) to establish himself (saw) as the head of that society, thereby establishing an Islamic State.

According to ibn Ishaq, who related from Ma'bad, from 'Abd Allah, from his father Ka'b bin Malik who said, "When we met at the defile we waited for the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he (saw) did come. When they sat down, the first to speak was Al 'Abbas bin 'Abd Al Muttalib who said, "O Khazraj! Muhammad holds with us a position of which you are aware. We protect him from our people who think about him as we do. He is respected among his people and safe in his own town. But he is determined to join up with you. If you think you will keep trust with him in the invitation you have given him and will protect him from his enemies, then it is up to you to accept your responsibilities. But if you think you might hand him over and abandon him after he has joined you, then leave him right now. He does have respect and protection among his own people and in his town." We replied, "We hear what you say. Speak to us O Messenger of Allah (saw)! And take for yourself and for your Lord whatever you want." The Messenger of Allah (saw) then spoke, recited the Qur'an, invited people to Islam. He (saw) said, "I ask you to pledge that you will defend me as you do your women and children." Al Bara' bin Ma'mur then took him (saw) by the hand and said, "Yes indeed, we will! I swear by Him who sent you with the Truth, protect you as we do our women from whatever threatens them. We pledge ourselves to you O Messenger of Allah, and we are, I swear it, warriors from father to son over many generations." While Al Bara' was speaking to the Messenger (saw) he was interrupted by Abu Al Haytham bin Al Tayyihan, who said, "O Messenger of Allah, we have certain ties to others - meaning the jews - and if we break these, we are concerned that if Allah gives you victory, you might return to your own people and abandon us." The Messenger (saw) smiled and said, "If your blood be sought, our blood shall be sought, and your destruction is mine as well. I am of you and you are of me. I will battle those you battle and make peace with those with those whom you make peace." The Messenger of Allah (saw) then said, "Bring forth twelve from among you to be nuqaba (leaders vis-à-vis commanders) to take charge."

With this event, the Quraysh became concerned at the progress of the prophet (saw). For ibn Ishaq states, "When Quraysh saw that Muhammad (saw) had assembled a Party, and had supporters from others than their own people and from a town other than theirs, and saw his (saw) companions moving out to join these others, they realised that the Muslims had found a new security with them and had acquired their protection. Quraysh were concerned that Muhammad (saw) would leave and join them, since they knew that he (saw) had decided to do battle with them. They therefore gathered in the Dar al-Nadwa, the House of Assembly, the home of Qusayy bin Kilab, where all their decisions were made. They discussed there what they should do with him (saw) since they now feared him more than ever."

This is especially so due to the status of those of Medina who represented the strong and powerful factions, and the fact that their Chiefs of Staff gave unequivocal support to the establishment of the Islamic State. And the seerah indicates that they were distinguished amongst the general masses in society, in that the power and control of affairs lay in their hands.
So the significance here of the successful contacting of the strong factions, (that is the Generals and Officers of Yathrib), is that it was a definitive move in establishing the Islamic authority, and therefore the ruling. Since, the ones in whose hands the power and control lay had been won over in a powerful manner, it clearly signified a departure from the days of intellectual and political struggle in Makka, to a decisive move into a completely different phase of the d'awa, that of taking power and implementing the Ruling of Islam.

As for the second point - the implication of Statehood of the Islamic message - the significance is in the fact that he (saw) would receive not only protection, but also power, the basis of which would have been the Islamic Ideology. There, in Medina, if he (saw) were allowed to migrate, would receive no obstacles in the path of establishing the Islamic Ideology, and since his (saw) aims were not only confined to Medina, but rather to a return to Makka, but this time under quite different circumstances to what the Quraysh had perceived of him. For if he (saw) were successful in the migration, and the building and consolidation of the new society in Medina - namely the establishment of an Islamic State - he would be a force and a power to be reckoned with. Thus, the migration to Medina would establish the permanency of the Islamic threat like never before, with the formation of a new State - an Islamic one - present and active in the political arena to manage every affair of the Muslims via the vehicle of an Islamic State.

The fact that the prophet (saw) and the Muslims would achieve an Islamic State and therefore an authority in ruling is not only a fact that can be comprehended from the seerah books, but also from the revelation of the Almighty (swt). For when Allah (swt) revealed, "Say: O Allah, make my place of arrival good and make my place of departure good. And grant me an aid and an authority from Yourself" [TMQ Bani Isra'il; 17:80] Ibn Kathir's tafseer states about this, "Qatadah said about this, "The phrase 'place of arrival' referred to Medina, while the words 'place of departure', referred to his (saw) migration from Makka. The words 'grant me an aid and an authority from Yourself' referred to Allah's Book and to the ruling by what Allah had revealed." It was Allah (swt) that had taught this prayer to the prophet (saw), and thus the migration was a migration to a place of authority and ruling whereby the implementation of the Ideology would practically exist.""

Furthermore, when Allah revealed concerning the migration to Medina in Surah Al An'am,

"They are those whom We gave the Book, the Ruling (Al Hukm), and prophethood. But if they disbelieve therein, then indeed We, have entrusted it to a people who are not disbelievers therein." [TMQ Al-An'am; 6:89]

Ibn Kathir states in his tafsir, ""They are those whom We gave the Book, the Ruling (Al Hukm), and prophethood." It means We have bestowed these bounties (the Qur'an, the rule and authority, and the prophethood), on them, as a mercy for the servants, and out of our kindness for creation. "But if they disbelieve therein", refers to the three things, the Book, the rule and the authority, and the prophet, and 'they' refers to the people of Quraysh according to ibn Abbas, Sa'id bin al Musayyib, Ad Dahhak, Qatadah, As Suddi, and others. "Then indeed We, have entrusted it to a people who are not disbelievers therein." Means, if the Quraysh and the rest of the people of the earth - Arabs and non-Arabs, illiterate, and the People of the Book - disbelieve in these (the Book, the Ruling, and the prophethood), then We have entrusted them to another people, the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and those who follow their lead until the Day of Judgement."

The fact and undeniable reality that the Messenger of Allah (saw) upon migration would have meant the establishment of an Islamic State ruling by what Allah (swt) has revealed, is now made clear, and provides explanation of the significance, political implications, and fears of the migration of the prophet (saw) in the eyes of the Quraysh leadership.

So, the Quraysh realised that the threat was very real indeed, that the prophet (saw) and the Muslims had very little way to go before the stage of taking power and implementing the Ideology comprehensively. Thus a successful conclusion to the phases of d'awa undertaken in Makka. It would mean the birth of the Islamic State, and with it, it would bring the Islamic Ideology into existence. They (the Quraysh), realised the importance of ruling and authority, and what it would mean, and what it would enable the Muslims to do. They knew the implications of the establishment of the Islamic State, and they feared it and it occupied their concerns. So much did they realise this, that nothing would have provided for an effective measure but to kill him (saw). And they understood the implications of his (saw) entry into Medina which explains that they did not settle for any other measure in their meeting at Dar an-Nadwa, but to kill him (saw). This is what the establishment of the Islamic State meant to Quraysh, the opponents of the Islamic Ideology!

This is the indication from the books of seerah as to the motive to kill the Messenger of Allah (saw) at this particular point in time. It is an indication that even the opponents of Islam understood the implications of an Islamic State present in life's affairs.

O honourable ummah! It would not be fitting for you, after even your enemies then had realised the significance of an Islamic State, for you to neglect its importance in the affairs of the Muslims, and for you to neglect its call. Neither should you allow those elements who claim to be from among us to seduce you into thinking that the Islamic State is not of a major significance in Islam and to the Muslim ummah. As for you, the sincere mighty d'awa carriers, know that the escalation of forces and the intensifying of energies directed towards preventing your work from achieving its results, should not be a source of depression for you, but rather should be seen as a conducive sign that indeed you are on the right path in the way of your Lord and guided by the correct evidences for its method. For the opponents of Islam today, too recognise the nearness of your goals and the impending victory that is about to be manifest, and the readiness of the Muslim ummah in supporting the call to re-establish the mighty Khilafah State. And such recognition by the enemies of this Deen, pushes them to address this powerful momentum by inventing new and desperate measures against you (with creative styles and elaborate means), whether they are directly from the enemies themselves - namely the disbelieving colonialist nations - or indirectly, from their agents and faithful and loyal supporters.

Just as the meetings, strategies, and plans took place at Dar al-Nadwa then, so do the meetings, strategies and plans occur today that convey such urgency and panic! Their sole purpose is to obstruct the changing affairs of the Muslim ummah and the success of the sincere d'awa carriers that are among them due to their successful and powerful progression. Do not be fooled into thinking otherwise, for they would desire your blindness and your dumbness!

They have today organised a crusade with the banner of 'fighting terrorism' but the Muslims realised before anyone that not only would it be them who would feel the brunt, but they would be the sole targets of their Pharonic expression. And it is that which the Pharaoh then feared from the people, that the arrogant Pharonic American state fears today. This in itself is a proof of the fear that they harbour and the nearness of the impending victory.

What is seen today of their strategies and plans is but a continuation of the plans that were concocted almost one-thousand years ago. They have convened many conferences and meetings. They have formulated many plans and strategies against the Muslims. And they too, like the Quraysh before them, are not unfamiliar with the Islamic Ideology, its State, and the carriers of its call. Thus, in the early conference of 1095 C.E the Europeans were roused by the similar propaganda and hysteria of today, and launched the crusades against the Muslims which ultimately led to their defeat and failure. Then, they convened again to assault the Muslims this time by a missionary and cultural invasion to weaken the Islamic ideological concepts. Then followed, the political invasion, the destruction of the Khilafah State in 1924, the imposition of the agent rulers, and the division of Muslim land. Even after all of this, the aspiration of ridding the world of Islam and its mighty state still did not materialise. So then came the creation of the State of Israel to keep the entire middle-east region under colonial influence, and then followed the Gulf War. These plans to keep these regions that are inhabited by Muslims and the sincere movements under the might of the colonial powers, and to ensure that their affairs remain under their control.

So, even after all of these further attempts, and further attempts after that to block Islam and the Muslims from rising from the rubble, the Muslims have only increased in their energy and have crystallised their concepts, to the extent that almost every single inch of Muslim land is crying out for the return of the ruling by what Allah (swt) has revealed. Only yesterday was it that despite this continuation of the crusade against Islam, calls to establish the Islamic State were being echoed from not only the Middle-East, Central Asia, The Fertile Crescent (Al-Sham), as one might naturally expect, but also other regions despite their geographical obscurity such as Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, and Gambia. This is despite the fact that their Pharonic attempts have been methodical to the highest precision, they have lasted for a millennium, and unquantifiable resources have been expended.

Indeed a new episode in this ongoing saga is what occurred in the aftermath of the events of September 11th, which signified and exposed the disposition of the colonialist US. It became clear from the news events or to the one who pursues the news that an attack in the Central Asian area was imminent prior to the events of September 11th, especially since the Taliban became independent from US control. So, in order to prevent the region falling into instability, especially with what was transpiring in Central Asia and Pakistan (which controlled Afghanistan) in terms of the call to re-establish the Khilafah State and the level to which it had progressed, the events of September 11th was used as the justification to enter these lands directly and quickly. Thus, apart from securing other interests in the region, the only way the Pharonic US state could guarantee that Islam and its State did not fill the political vacuum by the ones who truly crystallised the idea of Khilafah, was to directly colonise the entire area by force, fast, albeit by using the deceitful justification of September 11th the response to which was no doubt conjured up by the US think tanks and the rest of her Capitalist political medium.

Thus, the desperation and panic emitted by the disbelieving US Pharonic state from what they fear if the Muslims are freely allowed to work for what they desire, is crystal clear in their finding no other option nor any other solution other than to use their Pharonic expressions, which not only included direct military force, but also a Pharonic hunt by them and their agents in the area to eliminate the sincere d'awa carriers in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. And anyone else who resisted the US subjugation in any shape or form was also thrown into the same camp. And the fact that the events of September 11th are without defined objectives, may be ongoing for decades even centuries, is a clear enough indication to anyone that it is a ditch attempt to secure her interests by forcibly preventing any factor whatsoever that may distort her power and topple her world position. And the way in which Islam and the Muslims have been addressed is to create imaginary links between the Muslims in a given region, and the 'war against terrorism' in order to execute any Pharonic US will against it. So, those Muslim lands that have the military and strategic potential can now be legitimately destroyed by force, such as what they have described recently as the 'axis of terror'. And in the very least they (the US) enjoy a degree of influence of strategic parts of the Muslim world where they can monitor and keep in check any 'undemocratic' political change by force if necessary, under any convenient slogan. This is an indication of the fear that the US state feels and the future insecurity and instability she perceives from the lands where the d'awa carriers work.

This fear from the Muslims is apparent because those regions have possessed such capabilities for a very long time. The reason why they are pursued now (as opposed to before) is due to the control they may enjoy of a single sincere leadership who is free from their colonialist influence. Furthermore, their attempts, as well as what has been mentioned, is to make sure that if the Muslims have their Khilafah State, then that state must not be able to bridge to military and technological gap that exists between it and the western states, namely the US, by eliminating any technological or strategic advantage. This is presently taking place via the political means such as the military campaigns (the 'axis of terror' being just one example), and their agent rulers such as Musharraf of Pakistan (strategically weakening and de-islamicizing the armed forces), and of course what will occur in the future under any convenient 'terror' pretext.

Indeed, and as is most likely the case, the Pharonic US state realises that the campaigns to eject Islam from life forever have failed and are bound to fail. That is because, it is not merely a war that can be won and fought by superior technology, battle tactics, and dominant international position alone, rather it is a war, in fact a struggle, between two ideologies - western man-made Capitalism and Islam. The US have simply inherited a struggle that began with the Quraysh themselves, and they themselves have now come to witness that the conclusion to all these attempts, including those of recent times, is the manifest failure to extinguish the ideology of Islam. For the call to live by Islam both as a spiritual and political Doctrine is now stronger than ever. The call to re-establish its State that will execute all of its rules, and unify the entire ummah, all her lands, and all her armed forces and resources, is now wider than ever, and in light of the resources spent, that is perverse logic from their point of view! For Falsehood could never permanently prevail over the Truth, no matter how mighty it became, and no matter how severe the situation.

This can only mean one thing. That the enemies of Islam and their agents, do realise the success of the call to re-establish the Islamic Khilafah (that began methodically in the middle of the last century) that will deliver a change which in itself warrants their keen attention. If they - the disbelieving colonialists - do not regard the implications of what it means for the ummah to have their Islamic Khilafah established as important, then why organise such campaigns? Why wilfully and knowingly inherit such an ideological struggle with the only alternative ideology left on the face of the Earth? Why spend such resources and dedicate policies and budgets where without exception Muslims and their lands are the subject? Why expend effort and resources to safeguard the US position not only for tomorrow or the year after, but for centuries to come? That is exactly just what Pharaoh feared, and that very fear is the same. Why covertly support the crackdown not only throughout the whole of Central Asia and Pakistan, but throughout the whole Muslim world of the sincere d'awa carriers who call for political change and carry nothing in terms of weapons or use force of any type? And while according to their democratic principles this non-violent (rather intellectual) method of change is lawful!

They, like their predecessors - the Quraysh - do indeed sense the readiness and willingness of the Muslims to take control of their affairs once and for all, by supporting those sincere workers for change. Especially after being burned by the western powers and at the same time being given as fuel to that fire by her rulers! The Pharonic US State too, like Quraysh, realise the importance of the re-existence and the re-emergence of the Khilafah State, and the need to address it in their modern-day Dar an-Nadwas, and the plans that result from them, such as the elaborate and cunning campaigns related to September 11th, 'the war against terrorism', ‘rogue states’, 'axes of evil', 'anti-western', 'anti-democracy', ‘civilized Vs uncivilized’, ‘war against the just people of the world’ - in essence anything that stands in the way of the Pharonic US supremacy. And, behold, such desperate measures are a certain indication of their realisation that nothing will halt or even delay for even a single second the call to resume the Islamic way of life, except for drastic measures against the Muslims and their potential as a single unified ummah, especially in the aftermath of the failure of all the previous plans and devices. This in perfect realisation with what Quraysh then undertook as the only real and viable option to address the call by physical force. This clearly shows the success of the call for the return of the Islamic Khilafah State, and that success is being radiated!

These actions by the enemies of Islam should thus be taken as a most conducive sign in the path to re-establish the Khilafah, and that is plain for all to see.

So be of good cheer, and remain optimistic, for they fear you and fear your objectives, and the signs that are manifest at present, are those very same signs that appeared when the first Islamic State was established. This means that you should realise that you have progressed in successfully overcoming the serious obstacles and are now knocking at the doors of victory, and Allah willing you will enter it sooner than they may think!

2. The response of the influentials

We find from the books of seerah that when the Messenger (saw) concluded the second pledge from the Generals and Officers of the strong factions of Medina, it was an indication to Quraysh that the attempt to win the influential forces had been successful, which meant that the Muslims proceeding to implement the Islamic Ideology and the building of a state upon its basis was just around the corner. This is from the address by the senior officers at the second pledge, as stated by ibn Kathir.

"The Ansar, were seventy-three men, and their Nuqaba (Generals and Officers), were twelve in number, nine from Khazraj and three from Aws. Asim bin Umar bin Qatadah related that when this group met to pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (saw), Al-Abbas bin Ubayda bin Nadla al Ansari, of the Banu Salim bin Awf said, "Oh Khazraj! Do you know what it is that you are pledging to this man?" "Yes", they replied. "You are pledging to go to war with all kinds of people. If you think that if you suffered great losses to your wealth and had your leaders killed, you would give him up, then do it now, or suffer the punishment of this life and the next. If you think you will keep firm to this Deen and to him (saw), in what he has called upon you to do, despite loss of wealth and your leaders being killed, then accept him. For, he is, by Allah, the best in this world and in the next." They replied, "We will take him regardless of loss of wealth or the death of our leaders. But, what will we receive in return for this, O Messenger of Allah, if we keep to this Deen and keep firm and resolute with you?" And the prophet of Allah (saw) replied, "Paradise!" "Then hold out your hand Messenger of Allah!" they asked. He (saw) did so, and they pledged allegiance to him."

It was apparent in this aspect of the d'awa, that he (saw) was seeking the support of those persons with the actual (real) power. This is confirmed from what is stated by ibn Kathir and also from ibn Abbas about Al Abbas (his father), that he said, the Messenger (saw) told me, "I do not find any protection from you or your brother (meaning Hamza), can you take me out to the market tomorrow, so that I can visit the camp where the arab tribes gather." Thus, clearly indicating that what the Messenger (saw) was seeking was not found in his companions.

When the Messenger (saw) continued the contacting of these particular entities he would seek information as to their strength and position, and speak with its leadership. And to qualify the above statement of the Messenger (saw) of the specificity of such persons, this can be confirmed from what ibn Kathir states.

"Ali (ra) states. "We then went to a meeting underway marked by calm and dignity. There were shaikhs of high rank and fine appearance there. Abu Bakr (ra) went forward and made the greeting. Abu Bakr asked them, "From whom are you?" They replied, "We are from the Banu Shayban bin Tha'laba." Abu Bakr then turned to the Messenger (saw) and commented, "I swear no one has more power in their people than these do." The man most comparable to Abu Bakr was Mafruq bin 'Amr, he was their most eloquent. He wore his hair in two braids that came down to his chest. Abu Bakr asked him, "How many are you in number?" Mafruq replied, "We are more than 1000 strong." Abu Bakr continued, "And how would protection be with you?" "We go to the limit. And every people has a forefather (meaning they are proud and noble)." Mafruq responded. Abu Bakr then asked, "And how is it when you make war with your enemies?" Mafruq answered, "When we meet in battle, we are the fiercest of men. We take greater pride in our steeds than in our sons, care more for our swords than our sperm.""

This is but a fraction from the accounts from the books of seerah as to the seeking of support by the Messenger (saw) of those powerful people. And they were a distinguished group or class of persons who were not found from either amongst his (saw) companions or the ordinary people. Thus, from this, the Messenger (saw) sought the support to deliver change in practical terms, not from his (saw) companions, but from those unlike them, namely the Generals and Officers.

The Messenger (saw) continued in this way to contact those strong factions approaching fifty two different tribes, even whilst bringing humiliation upon himself as what was experienced at Taif, until Allah (swt) opened the way to Al Aws and Al Khazraj.

It must be noted that these were the powerful people that enabled the message of Islam to be transferred from one phase to another, and the support from whom Quraysh feared.

This can be easily understood by the manner in which they seized the society in Medina in order to place the Messenger (saw) as its head, and the fact that they bypassed its current ruler, 'Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, is an example of that material power. As for the fact that the Messenger (saw) was given the material support upon his entry into Medina as the defacto Head of State, Ibn Kathir states:

"Imam Ahmed stated, "Hashim related to us, quoting Sulayman, from Thabit, from Anas bin Malik, who said, "I moved through the young men shouting, "Muhammad has come!" And I moved out ahead and still I could see nothing. But the Messenger of Allah did come, accompanied by Abu Bakr. They hid in a ruin in Medina, then sent out a Bedouin asking for the Ansar, to let them enter. Thereupon some 500 of the Ansar (with their weapons) came out saying, "Do come in, you are safe and will be obeyed."""" Having secured the means (by force and by military command and control) to be in a position to do so.

It is today, that after having understood the methodology of resuming the Islamic way of life, and looking to the seerah of the Messenger (saw) for guidance, some from amongst the Muslims set out to emulate these actions in order to achieve that objective. Indeed, it is the support from what can be said of today's strongest factions, among which are the sincere Muslim armies, and their sincere Generals and Officers, that would indeed progress the work to resume the Islamic way of life into practical implementation. Such that, Islam will be implemented, the entire Muslim lands re-unified, her armies one, and the conveying of Islam to the whole of mankind would resume through the international existence of a State that carries and defends its message. Such progression poses obvious threats for those who thrive upon the current weakness and impotence of the Muslims.

An indication as to the fears of the colonialists and their agents, as to the achievement of such a progression can be found in the tampering of the armed forces in the Muslim lands. They initiated that when they destroyed the Khilafah State and handed over its administrative control to their agents. They were organised according to the structures, mentalities, and culture of the western framework, whose hands were still fresh from the blood of destroying the Islamic State. Not only were their initial commanding officers foreign, but those allowed to progress under them were carefully selected to not only be imitators of the western secular culture, but a worshipper of it. An example of this is the careful implantation of the Dunma Jews into the major influential positions of the Turkish Armed Forces, the likes of whom are still there today. And such tampering and meddling with the armed forces of the Muslims is a sufficient evidence against the disbelievers. It is a clear sign today, just as Quraysh realised then, that they fear of what support they may give to the Muslim ummah and the sincere d'awa carriers among them!

Any Islamic sentiment and anti-western secular sentiment was addressed through court-martials, imprisonment, and treason. This is what happened throughout the Pakistan Armed Forces under the supervision of the foreign powers and the brainwashed Officers, whereby some of the most brilliant and god-fearing soldiers were dispensed of. The same can be said for the armed forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and countless other Muslim lands under the subjugation of western secular culture. The powerful armed forces of the Muslims are monitored, observed, and carefully vetted to make sure that none loyal save to the agent ruler is allowed to gain rank and position. An example of this is in what occurred, and in what continues to occur, in the military purges that take place in the Turkish army. It was only recently where two-hundred (conservative official figures) army officers were ejected due to being 'Islamic' and moreover displaying Islamic loyalties. Also, the Pakistan armed forces, upon the request of the Pharonic US is purging its rank and file of the Generals and Officers who are found to have any loyalty to Islam and the Muslims. Even its most strategic and influential ISI intelligence network (that is considered the backbone of the Pakistani armed forces) is being pressured to be dismantled or its current leadership replaced, due to the strong Islamic sentiments that are found within them. While, those who love the western secular way of life, and detest the Muslims, are given promotions and commanderships.

All this to prevent the Ansar of today from presenting themselves and fulfilling their due role.

What has already been mentioned in itself provides sufficient evidence that the progress is being monitored and measures are being taken to prevent its successful results. But the fact that the monitoring needs to be something ongoing, and that the purges need to happen frequently, is a sign that despite their deceitful plans, the sincere Officers of the Muslims are responding to Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw), and their ummah.

And indeed, it is they - the enemies of Islam - who have followed and shadowed the Muslims and the sincere d'awa carriers among them through the various points and phases of the call to resume the Islamic way of life one more time. These are such glad tidings, hopes and optimisms, that the correct methodology is bound to yield the correct results, even if it took time.

The sincere d'awa carriers and the Muslims have contacted them, will continue to contact them, and will get them - Allah (swt) willing!

3. The mentality of Victory

What should be absolutely clear is that the observations in their desperate final attempts to thrust obstacles in the face of the Muslim ummah and in the face of those sincere d'awa carriers among them, are (without a shadow of a doubt) manifesting themselves like before. For the desperate measures that Quraysh undertook in the later stages of the d’awa then, by way of fearing the support of the Ansar and the attempt to kill the Messenger (saw), is what is being mirrored today – the ongoing tampering of the Muslim armed forces, and the use of force and death against the political aspect of Islam and the d’awa carriers everywhere.

But, those opponents then during the establishment of the first Islamic State experienced their limitations when it came to their plans and policies. Specifically, it was when they agreed upon and implemented the policy to address the impending threat. So confident were they in this countermeasure, and so confident were they against the Muslims that they mocked - as ibn Abbas, Qatadah, and Mujahid said - by saying that they should wait for the death of Muhammad (saw), just as the poets before him (saw) perished. And it was at this point when Allah had revealed, "And remember when the disbelievers planned against you to imprison you, or to kill you, or to expel you (from Makka), they were planning and Allah too was planning, and it is Allah who is the best of planners." [TMQ Al Anfal; 8:30] And it was they who ultimately failed, and Allah provided the successful entry into Medina by the prophet (saw) as the Head of the Islamic State, where it was established, and whilst Quraysh were still waiting by his doorstep to execute their confident policy!

Surely this is good news that in the face of their policies and their intricate plans, both open and hidden, that Allah will aid the believers, and be the Provider of victory, and He (swt) is able and capable of all things, despite the lowliness the ummah feels in her present times.

The Pharonic US state may have successfully rewritten, openly contradicted, and blatantly bypassed all the international laws and norms when it came to smiting the Muslims, to such a devious extent that not one state in the world is able to practically oppose it. She may arrogantly walk the Earth aiding whom she wishes and slaughtering whom she likes. She may have successfully invented a campaign to subvert and suppress the return of the Islamic Khilafah State that has the follower ship of not only her own citizens, but all the peoples of the world as if the Pharonic US state has performed some kind of evil magic over them. This made the Muslims the object of suspicion and his Deen as a source of guilt. Thus making the spilling of Muslim blood anywhere, under any circumstance, and by anyone, lawful in the eyes of the world's people, while the Muslims are without power. Indeed, they have succeeded in turning the criticism and the wrath of individuals, nations, and states against the Muslims everywhere and without exception, reminiscent of the witch-hunt of medieval times.

The Pharonic disbelieving colonialists may have to their credit genius think-tanks supported by all forms of intelligence and material resources, they may have experience in dealing with all types of threats, they may have devised every form of countermeasure one may think of, they may be hailed as superpowers, they may posses ownership and allegiance of the world's political institutions, they may have a presence in every inch of land via their agents or any other means of spying, they may have trillion dollar budgets that even computers cannot count, they may have mighty military resources, they may enjoy all types of military superiority, they may have won over the regimes and rulers in our lands, nay they may even have armies of Jinn! But despite this, it will never be enough to stop the will of Allah (swt) the Almighty and His (swt) promise of victory to the ummah and to the mighty d'awa carriers among them!

O honourable ummah! O mighty d'awa carriers! Do not let them or their agents draw your attention to defeat rather than victory. Do not allow them and their agents lead you to believe anything to the contrary, for they desire not victory, success, or anything wholesome for you, but rather they desire defeat and humiliation for you. Know that the criteria of success is not material resources, rather the criteria is Allah and Allah alone (swt), we believe in it, and they will never be able to counter it, and ultimately that is the frustration we see in their faces, and that will be the anguish and defeat we are going to - of a surety - witness!!!

So be confident in your march, and raise your heads high, and be bearers of good news to those around you. Fill your minds with confidence that you are on the right path, and pour courage into your hearts. And look forward to an assured victory in this world, and an appointment with your Lord in the next. For you are indeed mighty in the eyes of your Lord, and formidable in the eyes of your enemies.

"Indeed, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder men from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it, but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered into Hell" [TMQ Al Anfal; 8:36]

"And Allah has full power and complete control of His affairs, though most of mankind know it not" [TMQ Yusuf; 12:21]

May Allah the Almighty (swt) preserve you, your Deen, and your ideology.
Alhamdolilahi Rabbil 'Alameen.

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Family

The Family Meltdown of Secular Society

On the 5th April 2008, Justice Coleridge, the judge in charge of family courts across South West England delivered a speech to family lawyers from the organisation "Resolution", where he described family life in the UK in "meltdown" marked by an epidemic of family breakdown.

He said, "A large number of families now consist of children being brought up by mothers who have children by a number of different fathers, none of whom take any part in their lives or support or upbringing....These are not isolated, one-off cases. They are part of the stock-in-trade of the family courts." He continued, "Almost all society's ills can be traced directly to the collapse of family life. We all know it. Examine the background of almost every child in the care system or the youth justice system and you will discover a broken family. Ditto the drug addict. Ditto the binge drinker. Ditto those children who are truanting or who cannot behave at school. Scratch the surface of these cases and you invariably find a miserable family, overseen by a dysfunctional and fractured parental relationship - or none at all."

This morbid description of family life in the UK comes in the wake of other news stories in recent times - the fall in marriage rates in England and Wales to the lowest level since records began in 1862 (Office for National Statistics) and a rise in divorce rates to the highest since 1996. Teachers at last month's annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers also described a "toxic circle" of family breakdown affecting children's ability to learn and their mental health and well-being.

In addition to such stories, one is all too familiar with the other issues related to family life in Britain - the neglect of elderly parents or relatives, the shrinkage of the "extended family", the lack of time spent with children due to both parents having demanding work expectations, the sufferings of the "Superwoman" struggling to balance the responsibilities of home life with a high-maintenance career or job, and the devaluing of family life in the workplace. Last week, the Fawcett society launched their manifesto "Sexism in the city", highlighting the fact that 30,000 women a year in Britain lose their jobs simply for being pregnant and that of all social groups, mothers to be and new mothers experience the most discrimination in the labour market. In February 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research published a report detailing a fertility crisis in Britain due to women delaying motherhood or remaining childless due to fears that they would face a reduction in lifetime earnings or lose their place on their career ladder for taking time out to have babies. It described a "baby gap" of 90,000 due to this delay in motherhood. The demographic impact of this "baby gap" that many European countries such as France, Italy and the UK are predicting is of an ageing population, a reduced national workforce due to a generation gap and fewer young people to look after the old.

The Impact of Family Breakdown on Lives

The declining worth of family life in Britain and in many other secular societies is evident to see. This is despite the fact that report after report, study after study has shown that marriage and strong families are the cornerstone to stability in the lives of children and a healthy society. The consequences of broken families and dysfunctional or neglectful parent-child relations are also clear to see. Politicians from all camps have related increasing levels of anti-social behaviour, drug- addiction and binge-drinking amongst the youth and teenage pregnancies to rising quotas of dysfunctional families. Judge Justice Coleridge commented in his speech, "I am not saying every broken family produces dysfunctional children but I am saying that almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family." In addition the emotional impact of divorce and broken families on spouses, children and single parents left to bring up their children by themselves, often having to juggle 2 to 3 jobs in the process has caused as the judge describes, "...a never-ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress." Rising levels of child depression, self-harm, even eating disorders have been afforded to the current state of family life in Britain. One should also not forget the emotional gauntlet experienced by women forced to undergo IVF treatment in order to conceive, due to reduced fertility, miscarriages and increased pregnancy related complications related to delaying motherhood.

The Causes of Family Breakdown in Secular Society

The response of many Western governments to this dire problem of "Family Meltdown" has been in main financially based - tax incentives to encourage marriage and married couples to stay together, affordable childcare to enable single mothers to work, working and child tax credits for poor families, and even paying couples to have a second or third child as in France. Throwing money at issues seems to be a recurring knee-jerk reaction of many capitalist secular societies in solving deep-seated problems within their societies. To believe that simply more money will solve this dire state of family affairs is on par with believing that a bundle of dollar notes could seal the hole of a sinking Titanic. Of course Western governments have introduced other initiatives to try and raise the importance of family responsibilities. These include parenting classes or fines for neglectful parents as well as establishing laws to outlaw pregnancy-related discrimination in the workplace but these handful of actions fail to recognise that the fundamental cause of this family meltdown are core secular values and the general lack of weight given to family life within capitalist societies.

The "freedom-loving" culture of liberal society has nurtured a hedonistic and care-free attitude to life based upon the pursuit of carnal and individualistic whims and desires rather than nurturing a mindset of responsibility and respect towards others. This has created an aversion to marriage in many individuals due the level of commitment, fidelity and responsibility required - viewing marriage as a "curbing of their freedom" and preferring rather to be "free and single" and to have sexual relations with "whoever, whenever". It has spurned a culture of promiscuity resulting in spiralling rates of teenage pregnancies, abortions, single mothers and adultery which is the main cause of divorce in Britain. It has created a situation where a man may have relations with many women, father children from different mothers and take no physical or emotional responsibility for either his child or its mother other than a cheque in the post once a month. This situation has created a lack of trust in individuals seeking a partner for marriage, unsure whether a relationship based upon loyalty, fidelity and care and concern for one another will survive such a societal climate based upon a norm of promiscuity and individualism.

This "cancerous" individualistic mindset of "Me, myself, and I", bred within capitalist societies that sanctify securing individual self-interest over all else has eaten away at the foundations of family structure. It has caused individuals to focus on what is best for themselves rather than what is best for their spouse or marriage resulting in increased divorce. It has contributed to people rejecting or delaying having children until later life to maximize their social life, personal finances and personal freedom. It has caused parents to neglect their children while pursuing their own personal interests. It has caused children to neglect their elderly parents, viewing them as burdens on their time and their personal finances, placing them in homes for others to look after. The individualistic concern for one's own family and disregard or neglect of other relatives has caused a lack of a support system for extended family facing physical, financial and emotional problems, causing individuals to suffer in silence alone.

In addition, within capitalist secular societies there has been a devaluing of motherhood and family life against economic life. Firstly, on a historical level, the Western struggle for gender equality and the rise of feminism placed the public life and the man's traditional role of being breadwinner above the private life, motherhood and the woman's traditional role of home-maker. Many feminists argued that female respect and liberty was not compatible with economic dependence upon her husband nor full domestic responsibility and therefore it was not simply a matter of the woman having the right to work but the necessity to work. Christabel Pankhurst, the well known radical feminist and member of the suffragette movement of the early 20th century said of home-life responsibilities that they were an in intolerable burden on married women, a waste of time and economic energies, and was unpaid and unrecognised.

Today, one of the consequences of this view of home-life and concept of "Gender Equality" has been the creation of societies where women do not simply have the right to employment but rather are expected to work even if single mothers with sole responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children. The concept of gender equality that was in theory to produce the "have it all woman" in reality produced the "do it all woman" - who continued to burden the responsibilities of motherhood and household chores but now also struggled with the added burden of financially maintaining the family. With both parents as breadwinners in many families, there is a constant struggle to find time for the children or time to make marriages strong. The basis of gender equality where one looks at what is best for the woman verses what is best for the man rather than what is best for a family or community overall can sometimes overlook what is best for a strong marriage, for the children and for society. Furthermore, the idea of gender equality that erodes the appreciation of sex differences within the workplace and society, hinders rather than facilitates the securing of specific rights based upon sex difference such as pregnancy or maternity rights or flexible working hours for those women with young children and lays open the door to discrimination.

Secondly, the capitalist, materialistic system that has placed the pursuit of the "£" or "$" as its supreme ideological goal, has placed profit over people and finance over families. It has focussed consistently on securing the coffers of government or business over securing the family. This constant drive for short-term profitability has undervalued motherhood and family life and forced even single mothers into work, leaving them little time to bring up their children effectively. Indeed, there are often financial incentives for mothers to return to work; very few incentives for them to stay at home in order to ensure the effective upbringing of their children if they feel this is necessary, which is especially the case with many single parents. This valuing of materialism over motherhood has led to a situation where a pregnant woman or one with young children is often seen as a burden to a company rather than as an asset to society. A 2005 survey of 98 companies by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found that ¾ of companies would rather break the law than employ a pregnant woman or one of child-bearing age - a fact well-known by many women who would rather delay having children or remain childless rather than face this "fertility penalty" on their earnings or career. It seems that being "chained to the kitchen sink" has been replaced with being "chained to the economic market".

Unfortunately, the Muslim Ummah living in the West or in the Muslim world has not been shielded from these secular or materialistic values. The consequence is that the concept of "strong marriages" and "strong family units" that has always been understood by Muslims over the generations to be the heart or building block of a strong community, has today also been eroded. We face similar problems as those discussed due to the adoption of secular and liberal values and mindsets into our lives - increased divorces, increase in adultery, family breakdown, neglect of children, neglect of elders, severed relationships with extended family and so on. In addition, our community has been blighted with non-Islamic Asian/Arab/African traditions and culture that have also affected our marriages, parent-child relationships, in-law relationships and family structure.

The Islamic View towards Family

Within Islam, issues such as "strong marriages", "motherhood", "fatherhood", "rights and responsibilities of parents, "rights and responsibilities of children", "keeping relations with extended family (silat-ur-Rahm)" and "strong family units", have a high status of importance in the religion and should enjoy an elevated status within a community and society. Islam therefore does not believe in personal or sexual freedom - the freedom of an individual to have any relationship they wish, the freedom to commit adultery and betray one's spouse and family, the freedom to father children and bear no physical, emotional or financial responsibility towards them or their mother. Rather, it believes in building a mindset of accountability towards a Creator that nurtures values such as chastity, loyalty in marriage, and a sense of responsibility towards others and for one's actions. In addition, strict social laws - such as the dress codes for men and women, segregation of the sexes, the prohibition of a man and woman being alone together (khulwa), and harsh punishments for fornication and adultery - all aim to ensure that sexual relations are restricted to marriage and that every child is born with wedlock, knowing who is responsible for its financial, physical and emotional welfare. These values and these laws create a sense of trust between men and women in marriage, when seeking a partner for marriage and in society in general.

Islam not only encourages marriage, linking it to completing half of one's religion(deen) but also encourages husband and wife to consistently seek tranquillity within the marriage to keep the union strong. The Prophet(saw) said, "Oh you youngsters. Whoever amongst you who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him more to lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e.chastity). And whoever is not able to marry he should fast, because it will be a protection for him" (Bukhari and Muslim). He(saw) also said, "When a man gets married, he gets one half of the deen. Thus he should fear Allah in the other half" (Al-Baihaqi). Allah(swt) says in Surah Ar-Rum,

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find tranquillity in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy." [Ar-Rum: 21]

Although Islam permits divorce, the Muslim should understand that it is one of the most hated actions in the eyes of the Creator such that it is avoided as much as possible and arbitration sought to heal the relationship. Infact in one hadith, it is mentioned that the Throne of Allah(swt) shakes upon hearing of a divorce of a believing man and woman.

With regards to individualism, Islam abhors it. Rather it seeks to build a mentality of responsibility towards others. Therefore, the husband stands accountable to the Creator for fulfilling the rights of his wife. The wife stands accountable to the Creator for fulfilling the rights of her husband. Parents stand accountable to the Creator for fulfilling their responsibility to their children of ensuring their financial and physical well-being as well as their strong Islamic upbringing. The Prophet(saw) said, "Beware! Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible and answerable for his flock. The leader and the ruler is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs); a man is a guardian over his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being); a woman is the guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children); a servant is the shepherd of his master's property and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware! Everyone of you is a guardian and everyone of you shall be questioned with regards to his trust." (Bukhari and Muslim). In addition, individuals stand accountable to the Creator for fulfilling their responsibility towards their parents of looking after them financially and physically in their old age.

The Prophet (saw) says, "Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah has slaves to whom He will neither speak nor purify nor look at." He was asked, "Who are they, O Allah's Messenger?" He replied, "He who disowns and abandons his parents, he who disowns his children and he who was granted a favour by a people but he denied their favour and disowned them." (Ahmad). Allah (swt) says, "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say, ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.'" [17:23-24] The Muslim also stands accountable to the Creator for keeping good relations with his relatives and fulfilling their rights. There is no acceptance of severing relations with relatives. In Islam, a man may need to take charge of the financial maintenance of a female blood relative and therefore must have a regular awareness of their well-being. A woman may be given custody of a child from a blood relative and therefore must have a regular awareness of their well-being. The Prophet(saw) said, "The tie of kinship (rahm) is suspended from the throne of Allah, and says, ‘Whoever supports me, Allah will support him, and whoever cuts me off, Allah will cut him off'" (Bukhari and Muslim). He(saw) also said, "The one who severes ties with the relations will not enter Paradise." Jabir(ra) narrated that the Prophet(saw) said, "If any of you is poor let him start with himself and if any one of you has surplus (wealth) let him spend it on his family, and if any of you has further surplus let him spend it on his relatives."

With regards to materialism, Islam understands that the earning of money is important for the physical needs of individuals and therefore encourages a healthy economic life for society. However, it is also based upon the belief that although money may be the currency for this life, it is fulfilling the good deed prescribed by Allah(swt) that is the currency in the Hereafter. Having many children, looking after their welfare, and giving them a good Islamic upbringing to make them good Muslims and upright citizens who are a source of goodness for the community and society, is just one of those actions given much weight in currency in the Hereafter. The Prophet(saw) used to say, "Get married to the tender and fertile(women), for indeed I will vie with the Prophets in your great numbers on the day of Judgement." Abu Sa'id al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet(saw) said, "If anyone cares for three daughters, disciplines them, has them married, and does good to them, he will go to Paradise." (Abu Dawud). He(saw) said, "A man will be raised some degrees in Paradise and he will say, ‘For what reason I am receiving this?' He will be told, ‘Because of your son (child) asking forgiveness for you.'" (Bukhari). In contrast to the capitalist ideology, the philosophy of the Islamic system is not based upon securing "capital" over all else but rather understands that society must be organised in order to fulfil all aspects of human life effectively. Therefore it does not seek to maximise economic life up and above family life but rather understands that both are required for a healthy society. Nor in Islam are the roles of men and women in society and family life defined according to the concept of "Gender Equality", where the role of breadwinner is valued above the role of mother and home-maker. In family life Islam defines the responsibility of the man as the breadwinner and the woman as the homemaker and the nurturer of the children. One role is not above another but both are essential for the effective organization and functioning of family life and the progress of society as a whole.

Allah(swt) says,

"And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is allotted from what they have earned (and likewise) from women there is allotted for what they have earned" [An-Nisa:32]

In this regard, the woman as a wife and mother is permitted to work but there should be no societal or financial pressures upon her to do so if she chooses not to for the woman cannot compromise her vital role of being a wife and mother, caring for her children and family and nurturing the thinking and development of the future generations. At all times, the obligation of her financial maintenance falls first upon the male members of her family and second upon the state if they are not able to provide her with adequate support. She does not have to embrace the long suffering identity of a superwoman, struggling to balance a successful career with a successful home life, for her value within the society is based upon her obedience to her Creator and not upon the level of tax she contributes to the economy. Indeed, in contrast to capitalist societies, where motherhood has been devalued, where many stay-at-home mothers feel undervalued in society and many working mothers face discrimination for having children, Islam seeks to build a mindset within public life, the workplace and society as a whole of the great status that motherhood has in life. "Paradise lies beneath the feet of the mother" is a well known saying of the Messenger(saw). A man at the time of the Prophet(saw) came to him and said "I have carried my mother single handed around the Kaba 7 times, does this repay the kindness she showed me as a child?" The Prophet replied "It does not even repay one contraction of the womb". It was narrated that on one occasion a woman called Salamah said to the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, you brought tidings to men but not to women." He said, "Did your women friends put you up to asking me this question?" She said, "Yes, they did." He (saw) said, "Does it not please any of you that if she is pregnant by her husband and he is satisfied with her that she receives the reward of one who fasts and prays for the sake of Allah? And when the labour pains come none in heaven or earth knows what is concealed in her womb to soothe her. And when she delivers, not a mouthful of milk flows from her and not an instance of child's suck, but that she receives, for every mouthful and every suck, the reward of one good deed. And if she is kept awake by the child at night, she receives the reward of one who frees seventy slaves for the sake of Allah." (Tabarani). A poet once said, "The mother is a school: if you prepare her properly, you will prepare an entire people of good character; The mother is the first teacher, foremost among them, and the best of teachers." This is very much the understanding that Islam has - that the mother lies at the heart of the family and therefore is pivotal for society. One impact of this view is that even in the workplace, the understanding, value and flexibility for family responsibilities should be a common appreciation amongst employers rather than one that has to be forced upon them by the hand of the law.

In today's world, Islam and the Shariah are under constant attack, described as uncivilized, barbaric, backward and dangerous by particular Western governments and the Western media. This is despite the fact that within secular societies, the social and moral fabric of their family and societal lives are crumbling before their very eyes by their own admission due to the danger and chaos created by liberal, capitalist and secular values. These values have been and continue to be exported to the Muslim lands, causing "Meltdown" also in Muslim families and societal life. Islam however, has provided us with a beautiful set of principles and values to make our families and social structure strong which we must embrace and mould our lives upon. However, we are lacking the Islamic Khilafah system to water the soil of our lands with these values, to build and protect this mindset on mass amongst the Muslim Ummah. It is therefore the work to establish this state that we must turn our urgent attention and time. In addition, as Muslims, Allah(swt) has provided us with ample opportunity to carry the dawa to the non-Muslims around us by explaining the beauty of Islam in solving various problems facing humanity including the issue of family breakdown that is unfortunately plaguing so many societies across the world today.

"Whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery. But whoever turns away from My Reminder (That is, neither believes in the Qur'an nor acts on its orders) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection." [Ta-Ha: 123-124]