Thursday, August 8, 2013

Imamate in The Quran

As you are aware, this khutbah comes to you from reality and from reality. This is no hypothetical presentation and it is not a reaction to the events that are taking shape around us. In this frame of reference you are aware that? Muslims are in the grip of a type of revival and in this context there is the issue of leadership. It's a legitimate issue, it's a nagging issue and as much as it's an important and central issue, it seems to have been approached from the extremes- either extreme negligence or extreme hyperbole. Our attempt here, in this set of circumstances- the people in Egypt as an example are trying to define or mould a leadership and they're going through ups and downs and forwards and backwards as they are doing that; the people in Tunisia have an Islamic leadership that makes frequent visits to the United States and other places in Europe (and) we don't know if they're looking for solutions in democracy or they are looking for crutches in what is supposed to be their reliance in Allah in these particular matters; (and we can't go through all of the instances that we have), but we have also now the Islamic leadership in the Islamic state in Islamic Iran that has withstood the test of time, the internal intrigue and the ferocious foreign intrusion into its internal affairs via wars, via hypocrites, via fifth columnists- you name it- in this arena there is an issue of leadership as we said. Leadership simply transferred into the Qur'anic Arabic language is Imamah and it is mentioned about twelve times in the Qur'an. The Imamah or Imam or A'immah is mentioned about twelve times in the Qur'an. At least one of these times the word has a negative connotation and because this concept has been sidelined to the extreme by those who fashion themselves as Sunnis and because it has been centralised to the extreme by those who fashion themselves as Shi'is. We think we should visit this issue in a thoughtful manner so we're going to have to quote these twelve ayaat in the Qur'an some what briefly where this concept is evoked.

The first one is in Surah Al Hijr ayah seventy nine- Allah says in reference to two societies, the society of Prophet Shuayb (alayhi as salaam) and the society of Prophet Lut (alayhi as salaam)
We, (meaning divinity or Allah), took revenge upon them- these two societies are of a certainty in a position of illustrious or instructive leadership.  (Surah Al Hijr verse 79)
As we said in one of the khutbahs before, when it comes to this word the aspect of ta'wil which is the primary meaning of the particular word Imam in this context (and) in those societies in the circumstances of those times- so Imam here according to some Muslims, (and we're trying to be open minded about this and looking at the broad range of explanations), means a record in the form of a book or a ledger so the meaning of the ayah becomes .
These two societies occupy a leading position that illustrate a lesson of guidance to those who follow.  (Surah Al Hijr verse 79)
Remember, these are societies that are at the front pages of Prophetic history so they are at a teaching (or) leadership position to societies that shall follow.

Then another ayah, number twelve in Surah Yasin- a surah that most Muslims read, especially at times when someone passes away. Allah is speaking of His ability and His power.
And everything we have taken count of… (Surah Yasin verse 12)
Once again, the word Imam to some Muslims means a register or a ledger or a book of accountability.
And everything we have taken count of in a register or book or ledger. (Surah Yasin verse 12)
But then, another meaning of this word in this ayah, (and the previous ayah), is
And everything pertaining to individuals and societies we have taken count of in reference to their leadership preference. (Surah Yasin verse 12)
As you may follow, in the explanation of these ayaat there's no contradiction. Its contradiction that begin to generate distances between Muslims but when there's no contradiction why should there be any distances among Muslims?

The most quoted ayah when it comes to Imam that many Muslims are some what familiar with is ayah one hundred and twenty four in Surah Al Baqarah. Allah says to Ibrahim (alayhi as salaam)
I am for sure developing you into an Imam or a leader for people; Ibrahim replies- and of my descendants, (meaning), will you have my descendants also be leaders? (Surah Al Baqarah verse 124)
Allah's answer to Ibrahim was
… My promise to you or My trust pertaining to this leadership shall not be acquired by Adh Dhalimeen. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 124)
Here, the word Imam has a consensual meaning. All Muslims whatever their school of thought, agree that Imam here means leader- positive leader, guiding leader, legitimate leader. (We think that if we go on like this it's going to consume a lot of time. We took three out of twelve ayaat therefore for the sake of time we're going to have to be picky and choosy about some of these ayaat).

In Surah Al Isra', ayah number seventy one Allah says
On that day of accountability and judgement We, (meaning Allah), will call forth every community of people in accordance to their Imam. (Surah Al Isra' verse 71)
Here the Muslim mind goes two ways in understanding Imam here. Either it's the Imam or the leader of their reference book, meaning their scripture, i.e. those who consider the Qur'an to be their guidance and their leadership We will call them forth and those who consider the Injeel or the Gospel to be their leader we will call them together etc. and so forth; but then the other more particular meaning is
We will call forth for judgement every community of people in accordance to the leadership that they designated for themselves. (Surah Al Isra' verse 71)
Once again, we don't have conflicting meanings (but) because in some of the people's minds today the issue of Imamah becomes almost an exclusionary issue, (i.e.) "I have my understanding of Imamah or Imam therefore if another Muslim doesn't have my understanding of it there's supposed to be some distance." We don't know where this distance comes from but they place a distance between them and the other Muslim where in their understanding of the same ayaat there is no distance. There's a difference of ta'wil or there's a difference of prioritizing the meaning but that doesn't mean there's a distance.

Then, in Surah At Tawbah, ayah number twelve we encounter an ayah that takes away from the over worked exaggeration of the word Imam or A'immah. In some people's minds this word has the connotation of the inference of ismah to it. If someone says Imam then a particular group of people think Imams then Ma'sums. Listen to this ayah. For those who have that type of thinking, we invite you to listen to read this ayah in which Allah- who's words are infallible and who's words are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth- Allah says to you and to me and to all committed Muslims
Wage war against the Imams of kufr... (Surah At Tawbah verse 12)
A'immah is the plural of Imam. So Allah is telling us that kufr has its Imams. So for those who are locked into a certain definition of Imams we invite you to take a closer look at the wording of the wahy, at Allah's very ayaat.
… for they certainly cannot be trusted or they have no trust to them; it may be that in this method of dealing with them they may cease doing what they do. (Surah At Tawbah verse 12)

Just in case someone says "that's just one ayah in the Qur'an…" OK- there's another ayah in Surah Al Qassas, ayah number forty one. Surah Al Qassas is basically concentrating on the clash of wills between Musa (alayhi as salaam) and the Pharoah (or) between Bani Isra'eel and the Pharoany system. Allah says
And We have rendered them A'immah who invite to the fire or Jahannum … (Surah At Tawbah verse 12)
Imams, leaders to Jahannum?! This doesn't sit well with some people who have not developed the Qur'anic understanding of life issues.
… and on the day of resurrection they have no help and no victory … (Surah At Tawbah verse 12)

So these are some of the ayaat that deal with the concept of Imamah. (As we said we had to exclude some ayaat simply because the time doesn't permit). So after you go through these ayaat, (you can go to any concordance and look at the ayaat in the Qur'an), one thing whatever ta'wil you may have in mind, you get the unmistakable impression and understanding that leadership is an important aspect of living a wholesome and fulfilling Islamic life. Now we come to the more particular issue that grinds down into a clash of concepts between those who think of themselves as Shi'i Muslims and those who think of themselves as Sunni Muslims.

So when we are looking at these two communities of Muslims in the world, (i.e.) the Sunnis and the Shi'is, there are some difficulties in surmounting some particular concepts pertaining to Imamah or leadership. There's no time to go into detailing these ideas or these conceptualizations but one of them is the concept of ismah, i.e. the leader is ma'sum or infallible. This has a historical portion to it when you speak about twelve Imams and it has a contemporary to it. There are none of these twelve Imams now who have political practical authority so why should there be an argument among Muslims when right now you and I, whatever our Islamic background information is cannot point to a particular person in that traditional explanation of the word Imam. This is not a Qur'anic explanation but in this traditional or historical explanation and say "look this is the Imam. He's on this city. He's that person. I can see him. I can hear him." It doesn't exist!

There's an issue of an nass, i.e. "that the Imam's are appointed by a divine statement either coming from the Prophet to begin with or coming from the Imams that followed him." OK- if there is a nass that is applicable in our time- present it. Other Muslims want to know. Come forth (and) tell us where is this nass in our day and in our time. For those who don't have a nass, (we're saying this because there's no time to explain it but we're dropping it for reference purposes), there's what is called walayat al faqih. We don't want to get into the internal sensitivities of this issue between those who affirm walayat al faqih and they have their own references and they have their own reasons for it and those in the Shi'i context, (we're not speaking about Sunnis here), who take issue with it and they quote certain of these historical references and they go on and on. 


We go back to the canopy of the ayah that has been quoted in the previous khutbah that tells us to close ranks and to maintain our togetherness.

Oh you who are securely committed to Allah guard against Allah as is due to Him in the full measurement of this guard and do not die except in a state of submission to Him. And hold firm to Allah's binding matter all of you- no exceptions- and be not divided; and bare in mind Allah's provision, favour and privilege upon you when you (who are now Committed Muslims), were once enemies of each other and then He reconciled your hearts and familiarized and acquainted you with each other and then, due to this provision, favour and privilege you became brethren of each other; you were on the edge of a pit of fire and Allah saved you from it; it is with this is mind and with understanding these dynamics and factors that Allah is going to guide us. (Surah Aal Imran verse 102-103)

We visited the meanings of these ayaat before so it is not time wise to repeat the meanings of this ayah. We're sure you know the general implications of it by now. We bring the meanings of this ayah with us to what can be considered the day that the Muslims of today look back at to explain or to rationalize or to justify their positions- and when speaking about today's Muslims what we mean by that is those Muslims who consider themselves either Sunnis or Shi'is. There is something peculiar about the statements that were said on that day and in that time frame that many Muslims use or quote to justify a position that has turned into a type of asabiyyah position; so for that reason we are trying to weed out the misunderstandings and get to the root of these issues so that we can comfortably liberate ourselves from this asabiyyah that did not serve the first generations very well and will not serve the latter generations very well, ourselves included.

Just a very brief recap of what was previously encountered- we said that there is an asabiyyah that was submerged in the psyche or in the social mind of the people around the Prophet- it doesn't matter who they were, generally speaking that asabiyyah was submerged. There were times that this asabiyyah expressed itself and we covered some incidents along those lines. We said that Al Muhajirin and Al Ansar (radi Allahu anhum) had their exchange of words and their exchange views on the day the Prophet was to be buried and in the exchange of statements we sensed that there is this asabiyyah but it wasn't an asabiyyah that was operational and it wasn't an asabiyyah that was divisive. So we mentioned the Ansar and what they said and we mentioned the Al Muhajirun and what they said. Now we come to take a closer look at a third party because at this time what we are witnessing is the emergence of Islamic parties. We repeat, there's nothing wrong with having Islamic parties because Islamic parties are political ijtihad. What makes them wrong is the component of asabiyyah, (i.e.) when people begin to think that their position is exclusive of others or their positions are supremacy positions vis a vis others. These are the elements of asabiyyah that give political parties their negative component. So the third Islamic party is referred to, depending on your books of choice, as Al Haashimiyin or Al Alawiyin later on in main stream Islamic books referred to as shiat Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (radi Allahu anhu). These individuals were not participating in the give and take between the Ansar and the Muhajirin on the day of saqifa which we covered previously. They were, (more or less) with Ali when he was preparing the Prophet for the funeral services. This was the first emergence of a political trend; before this may have been some ideas or some notions (or) some inclinations etc. but at this point it took on a configuration of the beginning of an Islamic party. They agreed with the Muhajirin that the leaders of the Muslims belong to the Quraysh. They didn't argue with the statement Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) said when he was contending with the Ansar quoting the Prophet the leaders come from Quraysh or the Imams issue from Quraysh. They had no problems with that but they were more specific, they didn't leave it in that general context and to be more specific about it Ali is the most qualified to become the leader of the Muslims now that the Prophet had passed on. Of course they had a very strong point of view. No one could argue that Ali had all of these features, characteristics, qualifications (and) credentials that others did not have to the same degree and to the same range that Ali had. No one argued that in that context. This political trend (or) political party in Islam took a further position- it said not only is Ali an inheritor of the Prophet as a relative inheriting some worldly belongings, he also is an inheritor in the moral sense of the word. But when we take a close look at the individuals or the personalities in this Haashimi or Alawi crowd we find that unlike the Muhajirin and unlike the Ansar there was no asabiyyah to them; in other words if a person spoke on behalf of a Muhajirin or if a person spoke on behalf of Ansar- even though they were not, at this point in the political sense, of an asabiyyah component but you could sense that beneath their statements there was a lurking asabiyyah- not necessarily belonging to them but to their crowd. This is very important to understand- please brothers and sisters because these people who say "they are Sunnis and they are Shi'is" overlook these details and these details are extremely important. So a person like Al Miqdad ibn Al Aswad (radi Allahu anhu) who was supportive of Ali didn't have his tribe of Kinda advocating around Ali. Salman Al Farisi (radi Allahu anhu), the Persian, also did not have an asabiyyah that goes with him in support of Ali. Abu Dharr Al Ghifari (radi Allahu anhu) who comes from the tribe of Ghifar did not have the Ghifari tribe in support of Ali. Ammaar ibn Yasir Al Ansi (radi Allahu anhu) didn't have his tribe along with him in support of Ali. So here unlike the other two positions Al Muhajirin and Al Ansar you can't detect a submerged asabiyyah. Now, this absent information feeds in to today's asabiyyah that wants Muslims- Sunnis and Shiahs- to kill themselves.

This consolidation of people around Ali was not born on the day of saqifah. There were weeks and months and even years that convinced people who were pro-Ali that he simply is the most qualified to lead the Muslims after the Prophet passes away. Remember, this information doesn't come to you from isolated sources. The information you are listening to comes from books that are considered references of all Muslims- At Tabari, Ibn Qutayba Ibn Sa'd, Al Bukhari, Muslim, etc. So let's not say (where does this information come from as) some people here who are going to throw in this asabiyyah of today when we are trying to reconstruct these facts. So from these books we are told that Al Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (radi Allahu anhu), the Prophet's uncle and Ali's uncle, when the Prophet was passing away he came to Ali and he said to him, (which means something like), the Prophet is being recalled by Allah. Al Abbas is telling Ali go and ask him if the affair, meaning the affair of leadership, belongs to us then let him explain it and make it clear which tells us that this issue was not as clear as it should be. If this affair of leadership belongs to others, besides us, then let him make his recommendations for our well being. You sense in this statement that if al asabiyyah is going to turn to this Islamic society there's going to be a type of grudge that's going to take it out on the Prophet's intimates and his family. There's another statement along these lines and because of the time we're going to skip that statement but you understood here what is going on.

Now remember, in the Islamic public mind at that time, Ali had so many uplifting statements that were to his credit and expressed by none other then the Prophet himself. This is not the time to quote all of them but we think a couple of them will suffice. He said, and this is a statement that belongs to all Muslims; it doesn't belong to a sect (and) it doesn't belong to an asabiyyah. On the day of Ghadir Qum the Prophet said the Prophet takes priority even over the selves of the committed Muslims and then he says and all the Muslims are there listening and watching, (this is the Prophet here speaking), whoever I'm his mawla then Ali is also his mawla. Oh Allah be with those who are with him and be against those who are against him. This is a very strong statement and all Muslims quote it whether they are Sunnis or whether they are Shi'is but the problem is that they understand it in different ways. We want you, at this point, to ask yourselves what exactly is the meaning of mawla? Remember the Prophet didn't say whoever I'm his Imam then Ali is also his Imam. He didn't say that. He said whoever I'm his mawla then Ali is also his mawla. This amounts to be impartial about this, as objective as possible. This means that the Prophet was speaking to the asabiyyah component for those who are listening and trying to have the listeners (or) the committed Muslims overcome their asabiyyah, identify qualifications when they belong to a person and then do the right thing when the day comes.

The Prophet is speaking to Ali and he is saying you are to me what Harun was to Musa except that there is no Prophet after me. Harun (alayhi as salaam) was a Prophet who came after Musa (alayhi as salaam) but there's not going to be a Prophet that comes after Muhammad and all Muslims agree to this. We're not quoting a hadith here that is controversial or a minority hadith. So these are very strong nomination statements of what should be done when he is gone when it comes to the issue of leadership.

So when the Muhajirun and the Ansar were in a type of give and take (or) exchange of words as to who is going to fill in the vacancy now that the vacancy is gone the Hashimiyun were not there and the bai'ah was finished. The Muhajirun and the Ansar who were there gave their bai'ah to Abi Bakr with the exception of Sa'd ibn Ubada (radi Allahu anhu). Remember at first he made the case who the Ansar were and they should be in-charge. Well, he refused to give his bai'ah to Abi Bakr. We don't know of anyone- at that time or today or in all of the millions of Muslims in between- no one said that something is wrong with Sa'd ibn Ubada. He had the right to say no, I'm not going to give this person my bai'ah and it lives on with us until now except Muslims don't dwell on it. Muslims don't want to think about it. What's wrong about thinking about this? It will open up your freedom of conscience, your freedom of choice (and) your freedom of political action. When the people left as saqifah and went to the Masjid, at that time, (we know this is a little heavy word), it was almost like a bombshell that fell on the Hashimiyin. It's already done! The decision has already been made. Abu Bakr now is the successor to the Prophet because all the people with the exception of Sa'd ibn Ubadah who was there pledged their allegiance to Abi Bakr. Al Abbas, the Prophet's uncle and Ali's uncle, wasn't surprised. If you follow his statements in these books he sort of was anticipating something like this along these lines to happen. To be honest to the subject matter, now we have our history books giving us conflicting information about the bai'ah of Ali towards Abi Bakr. Some history books will tell you when he knew this happened he immediately gave his bai'ah to Abi Bakr; other history books will tell you no, he postponed it for around six months until his wife Fatima (alaiha as salaam) passed away. The explanation for that was there was a contention (or) a difference of opinion between Fatima and Abi Bakr. They didn't agree on the inheritance of the Prophet. Abu Bakr said he heard the Prophet say we the folks of Prophethood do not pass on any inheritance and the Prophet had some belongings in Fadaq and in Khaybar and so do they go on to Fatima or not because she's the only survivor in his family. Fatima said yes, Abu Bakr said no. So they had this very serious disagreement to the point that Fatima estranged herself from Abi Bakr, in other words she kept her distance and did not want to speak to him. Brothers and sisters- this is a difference in our history (and) it's a difference in opinions among those who were there at that time but does this difference, (you tell us), justify today some Muslims killing themselves? This is how it went. After Fatima passed away Ali goes to Abi Bakr, (according to this historical narrative), and gives his bai'ah. So whether he did it early on or whether he delayed it for some time, (and probably it was between the two- it wasn't immediately and it didn't take six months), because he was aware just like everyone else of the asabiyyah that was out there tugging at grabbing power. What are you going to do? Create an internal war among the Muslims? It would come to that if we submit to the opinions of some people. Right now we're going to cover the territory in which there were exchange of words between Abi Bakr and Ali.

So when Ali gave the bai'ah to Abi Bakr the rest of the Hashimiyin did the same. If something was terribly wrong about Abu Bakr leading the Muslims in the circumstances of asabiyyah that we are talking about and we are analyzing he wouldn't give the bai'ah. He would have been like Sa'd ibn Ubada- I don't want to give this person my bai'ah but that wasn't the case because this isn't an issue of personalities. It is an issue of social forces at work. This is where both Sunnis and Shi'is default. They fail to understand that there are social forces at work abbreviated in one word asabiyyah. So now the Ansar basically are no longer in the picture. They already made up their minds and gave their bai'ah to Abi Bakr who was considered to be the front runner of the Muhajirin, (so to speak), but now it became a matter of contention of sorts- not animosity. There's no hostility in this. We don't care how you're reading your history, there's no enemies here. There are no enemies. There's differences of opinions, there's differences of ijtihad- yes but there's no hostility, animosity (and) adversarial relations. Nothing of that because any Muslim who begins to understand this history like that has brought down all the education that the Prophet's lifetime was to these people around him. So now the argument was basically between the Muhajirin and the Haashimiyin.

When you go into this particular area in our history you feel (and) you sense that Ali here was being excluded. Ali here is speaking to Abi Bakr (and) he says to him I qualify for this position of leadership more than you- not only Abi Bakr. Even though he was personally speaking to him but what he meant by the plural you is the Muhajirin, I am more qualified for this task and responsibility than you the Muhajirin are. I am not going to readily give my bai'ah to you when you should be giving your bai'ah to me. When he says this he is not saying this, (number one), with an asabiyyah. We just described that his camp doesn't have the element of asabiyyah in it so from the get go. He is not burdened with the psychology, with the tribalism, with the history and with the culture the remnants of which were beneath the surface in the Muhajirin and in the Ansar from step number one. He was free from that. Ali is speaking to Abi Bakr saying you've taken this affair from the Ansar, this is in reference to the dialogue that was going on that we spoke about previously, your superior argument against them was that you were relatives of the Prophet- the Muhajirin; and here you appear to be taking this position from us, (the word ghasba means without our endorsement), it's almost like you forced this thing into your own camp. Ali is still speaking to Abi Bakr did you not claim to the Ansar that you are more qualified to fill in this position as Muhammad is one of you, i.e. Muhammad was a Muhajir just like the Muhajirin? The Ansar gave you the go ahead to lead and they acquiesced and had you become the commanders. Listen here very carefully, throw your asabiyyah aside, your emotionalism- all of that. We want to be fair to this subject. It's enough they suffered from asabiyyah, we still have to suffer from it?! Ali says my argument of evidence against you is the same argument (or) evidence you used against Al Ansar. Ali continues in another statement to Abi Bakr rather we, the Haashimiyin, saw that we had a right to this affair but you took it into your own hands excluding us. This is the fine line here that we want everyone of you to zero in on because this has become a matter of misunderstandings, estrangement of Muslims from each other and then a relapse into asabiyyah. When Ali is saying to the Muhajirin you excluded us from it but that exclusion was not on the basis of asabiyyah. This ijtihad by the Muhajirin could have been wrong. Only Allah knows what the alternative would have been like if Ali would have become the leader at the time. No one can prove a negative but the way the Muhajirin saw it is "yes we did exclude you but we didn't do that because of an asabiyyah even though in our crowd that element exists. We didn't do that because we have a grudge against you, Ali. We have no grudge against you. We did it to keep the Muslims together as much as we can within our own understanding of things." So the Haashimi political trend vis a vis Al Muhajirin was like the Muhajirin's political trend vis a vis the Ansar- as sabaq wa al qaraba. Remember those two words? The Muhajirin were saying to the Ansar we are pioneers and we are the relative material of the Prophet. The Haashimis said the same thing- we are the sabiqin inside the context of the Muhajirin and we are more closely related to the Prophet than the general context of the Muhajirin. The same thing applies here but the difference is you can't detect an asabiyyah in the Haashimi crowd but you can detect an asabiyyah in the Muhajirin and in the Ansar.

One of these statements there in the books of references that we all have said when all was said and done and Abu Bakr had become the Khalifa of Rasulillah, Ali would during the night time in Al Madinah go from street to street, (as it were), riding on a donkey and with him would be Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, and they would try to speak to the conscience of the Ansar reminding them of who should lead the Muslims but they would say to both, Ali and to Az Zahra particularly to the Prophet's daughter Oh daughter of the Messenger of Allah we have already endorsed our bai'ah to this man, meaning Abu Bakr. Ali had a status when Fatima was alive that was to be consumed by the asabiyyah that was beginning to surface after Fatima passed away. So you think Ali wasn't aware of these things we are talking about? He was aware of these things and much more that have escaped the history books. So it made sense to him to keep the Muslims together to go along with the ijtihad of the Muhajirin and to express his bai'ah to Abi Bakr. He wasn't in an opposition. He could have taken a political opposition position- "no, I'm not going to give my bai'ah. This is all wrong and that could have stood the test of time" and Muslims today could look back and say "Ali was in opposition to the Khulafa' and we maintain this opposition position today." But he wasn't! He disagreed with them. He differed with them. He had his opinions, his ijtihad (and) they had their opinions and their ijtihad- that's a given. Of course, one hundred per cent but there wasn't "I'm going to kill him because he's wrong! I'm going to kill him because he's a Kafir!" The same things these people today who attribute themselves to these personalities whether they're Sunnis or Shi'is are talking today. These are their words. These words of today of takfir don't have foundation in anything we are seeing that's supposed to be the day in which the Muslims politically parted company. None of it! Besides, when all of these things were developing from day to day (and) from week to week (and) from year to year do you think these Muslims were not echoing with the ayah?

 And hold firm to Allah's binding matter all of you- no exceptions- and be not divided; and bare in mind Allah's provision, favour and privilege upon you when you (who are now Committed Muslims), were once enemies of each other… (Surah Aal Imran verse 102-103)

This ayah was probably at their core, in their conscience, in their heart, in their mind, in their soul (and) in their spirit when all of these events were taking shape so they held the fort together until later on, (and we covered that part of history in a very long series of khutbah some years ago), but because today the events are imposing themselves on us- Muslims are killing Muslims; Muslims are calling for jihad against, not their enemies but against their ownselves- as it the ayah doesn't exist.

Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…

To remind you with this day of taqwa, we are concerned with Allah's power and authority more than we are concerned with any other type of power and authority anywhere, anytime and because of that the ideas that are expressed in this khutbah are extracted not only from historical precedent but also from current developments. This type of khutbah would probably never be expressed if we, the Muslims altogether, whatever our Islamic affiliations are, were not going through a very critical time in which there are master strategies that want us to turn against each other in a bloody and almost genocidal way. Some of these Muslims are beginning to resurrect dead language and dead words. Now we have words such as Ar Rawafid, Az Zanadiqah, Al Kuffaar, An Nawasib coming into play?! And most of this, (these) people who are saying these things claim they substantiate it by going back to that particular part of history that we are focusing on and you can see by the way we are trying to as objectively as possible trying to express it you can detect that there is no basis for these people carrying arms right now to kill our own selves! We know at one time that was the punishment of Bani Isra'eel

… mortify yourselves, this will be best for you … (Surah Al Baqarah verse 54)

That was because of their misconduct with Allah and His Prophets. We don't have any serious misconduct with Allah and His Prophet for Allah to tell us to kill ourselves (and) to purge our lives from the sins and the serious defaults that we have with Allah and His Prophet! It doesn't exist! But we have insiders and outsiders who are closing ranks and want us Muslims to feel free to shoot ourselves (and) to entrap ourselves militarily. What are the Zionists doing? Some news items tell us "on the Golan Heights they placed certain zooming technology, binoculars and some other gadgets in which the Israelis can go up the Golan Heights and watch the civil war in Syria- Muslims killing Muslims." That's the way you like it? That's the way you understand your history? If that's the way you understand your history then this becomes the result. "Abu Bakr was an enemy of Ali, Ali was an enemy of Abu Bakr and if they were enemies we have to be enemies also?!" The flow of logic continues if that's the way you perceive yourself. What we want you to do is liberate yourself from that perception. Understand the complexity and the delicate issues that were at work at the time and learn from our own selves. You Shi'i can learn from Abi Bakr (and) you Sunni can learn from Ali provided you have an open mind and a non polluted heart because these were decisions that were made that are subject to review. These are not decisions that were made that were ayaat from Allah (and) direct orders. This was an area of human ijtihad and if this doesn't serve as a lesson for us we will be condemned to suffer the consequences even for another thousand years but it depends on us. You open your mind, you learn; you close your mind and you come to this asabiyyah- an asabiyyah that still is alive and kicking and now wears the attire of Islam. It has the details of Sunnis and Shiahs with all the unrefined information therein. Who do you think now feels comfortable with all of this? Obviously you should know the answer to that.