February 2014

The Hour of Acceptance

On the authority of Jabir the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Friday is twelve hours. Within it is one hour in which a servant of God does not ask Him anything except he be granted it. Seek it in the last hour [before maghrib] after asr.”

(Related by Nisa’i, Abu Dawud; al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak considered it sound according to the conditions of Imam al-Muslim and Imam al-Dhahabi agreed. al-Hafiz Ibn al-Hajar considered its chain to be hasan as recorded in his commentary al-Fath al-Bari)

Hasan al-Basri, may God have mercy upon him, was asked:

“Why do you appear unconcerned with what people say about you?”

He said, “When I was born I was born alone, when I shall die I will die alone, when I am placed in my grave I will be alone, and when I am taken to account before God I shall be alone. If I then enter the Fire it will be alone. And if I enter Paradise it will be alone. So what business do I have with people?”

Certain media websites affiliated with “Islamist” groups spread a report accusing the scholars of Hadramawt, Yemen, of working to open Shia congregational centres known as “Hussainia”. We say to them: lying does not build a true Islamic project. It does not grant leadership of the world. It will not return the khilafa nor prepare for it. It does not spread divine oneness, tawhid, because truth is not given victory through falsity. Be steadfast and upright! May God have mercy upon you.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X, became a symbol of the human struggle in the 20th century when he went from embracing Islam to seek retribution for the persecution his black brothers faced by whites to embracing Islam which elevates the value of justice and accepts all peoples without discrimination.

Extremists take advantage of periods of weakness and instability in the umma and exploit them as an opportunity to spread their views. If one looks back through Muslim history they would find that extremist groups such as the Qaramitah and the Khawarij had no real impact except during periods of instability and weakness.

Habib Ali al-Jifri

BRIEF ABOUT THE COUNTRY:

CAR falls between the two Sudans, Chad, Cameroon and the two Congos.

CAR has a rich mineral resource endowment, including oil, diamond mines and uranium.

It is a poverty ridden country with high rates of disease and illiteracy.

The population exceeds 4.5 million. According to some statistics around 50% are Christian, 25% maintain indigenous beliefs and the remainder 25% are Muslim. In any case, Muslims are considered the minority.

Since its independence from French colonial rule the country has been troubled by disruption. However, French companies hold the monopoly on mining concessions and oil exploration.

BACKGROUND TO RECENT BLOODY EVENTS:

An armed alliance of militias called ‘Seleka’ was formed mainly of younger non-religious Muslims extreme in their views towards the majority Christian population.

In retaliation an armed militia called “Anti-Balaka” was formed, consisting of younger Christians who held hostile and extreme views towards the Muslim minority and, despite being non-religious, entered into confrontation with Seleka.

Seleka came to power by force by seizing the capital and effectively deposing the Christian President, Francois Bozize, who himself assumed power by overthrowing the President before him.

Just as Bozize began to sense the threat being posed to his seat of power by the Muslim Seleka rebels, he began inciting the Christian Anti-Balaka militias against Muslims and calling for their killing, falsely claiming that the Seleka were immigrant Arabs who wanted to destroy churches and rule the country.

Seleka were successful in ousting Bozize only after the French withdrew their support for him after the financial corruption of his regime was exposed and no longer possible to hide nor defend. That and the fact that Bozize gave Chinese companies concessions for oil exploration and opened it up for competition, thus inflaming the anger of the French.

Mohammad Michel Djotodia, the Muslim leader of the Seleka, assumed power and dissolved the group. However he was unable to reign them in. Many ordinary young Muslims became zealous to join Seleka and began hostilities against Christians and churches. They would arrogantly boast about their rule over the country and how they will turn it into a Muslim country, despite themselves having little devotion to the dictates of sacred law. They operated more like gangs.

Local Muslim scholars strongly rejected Seleka’s hostilities towards Christians. Imam Omar Kobine Layama , president of the Central African Muslim community, stood firmly against their criminal activities, killing of Christians and their attacks against churches.

Seleka’s leadership threatened Imam Omar and he was exposed to harm but he continued with his insistence to protect Christians and their churches. He joined together with the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga, to call people to peace. They went on a tour of European countries to address politicians on the necessity of bringing stability to the country and preventing the armament of the Muslim and Christian militias.

Sections of the community responded to Imam Omar’s call and 30 of them stood to protect the Catholic church in their neighbourhood, Kilometer 5, in the north of Bangui. They would face up to the armed Seleka militiamen and attempt to convince them that the Islam they claim to follow does not authorise them to attack churches. In the frenzy of feeling victorious and powerful the response was feeble.

Likewise, hordes of Christians joined Anti-Balaka and the confrontation between the two militias intensified. Fighting between armed people quickly extended to the killing of unarmed citizens, including women and children, and put the situation in the country out of control.

French troops intervened and tried to disarm the militias. It has been reported that there were some inconsistencies in their approach that tipped the balance in favour of Anti-Balaka, thereby leading to an increase in the killing of Muslims.

The Muslim President, Djotodia, resigned and a Christian interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, was sworn in. She announced her determination to stop the killings and asked the world to stand by her in her fight against the crimes being committed against Muslim Central Africans.

In the midst of the genocide being perpetrated by Anti-Balaka militiamen we have seen Christian church leaders come to the aide of Muslims by providing them with refuge and shelter and take the blame of extremist Christians and their threats as a result.

Xavier Fagba, a priest at the St. Peter’s Parish Church in Boali who offered refuge to more than 650 Muslims in his church, said: “Now is the time for men of good will to stand up and prove the strength and quality of their faith.” He further said, “When I did this, nobody in the community understood me. They attacked me and threatened me.”

The humanitarian tragedy continues and massacres against defenceless Muslims persist even as this piece is being written. Thousands have been displaced and tens of mosques have been destroyed.

IN CLOSING

These crimes are not religious in nature. They are political and occur against a backdrop of economics. The perpetrators have dressed them with religion to ignite sectarian violence and inflame the zeal of people on both sides.

As has been mentioned before, the interests of oil and mining companies competing for exploration concessions in Central African Republic is one of the main reasons for the massacres we witness. These companies are secularly oriented and control the conflict through exploiting the fervid solidarity the young and ingenuous feel for their religions.

Silence over these crimes and the absence of a serious intervention to save the lives of defenceless Muslims are no less a crime than that which is being perpetrated.

There must be an immediate end to these violations and aid must be hastened to the displaced until they can return to their homes.

If serious efforts are not put in place to end the massacres being committed against innocent Muslims we will witness young, angry Muslims respond to the calls of extremist organisations and movements to come to Central African Republic and defend them. The sphere of war will expand. Other armed outfits who claim religion, like the Lord’s Resistance Army, will incite angry Christians from around Africa to come and join their struggle. A fire will be lit that will be difficult to extinguish.

Worse still is the inflammatory language towards Muslims that we hear and see coming from far right and neo-Nazi groups in the West and the incitement against Christians coming from ‘Islamist’ movements and the Khawarij of our time in the Arab world. And similarly, how heinous crimes such as events in CAR and images of dead bodies, killings and fighting are exploitatively used to add fuel to the fire of civil strife and to mobilise angry mobs of people that only serves to expand the theatre of war in the region.

The time has come for sincere and right thinking individuals from the Muslim and Christian communities to take a courageous stand against this futility. Against religion being used as a game to justify crimes, whoever may be the perpetrator, whether it is by Muslims who give them a cover of religion by calling it jihad or by Christians calling them crusades. We must not surrender to extremists and their pressures and threats however they may manifest be it smear campaigns or even death threats.

God is our aide and upon Him we rely. May His deliverance be close.

The world’s response to events in Central African Republic – by being mere observers, or issuing meagre condemnations, or through belated interventions – is a witness to the artificiality of the (selective) human rights culture the contemporary human lives.

CAR is a result of the greed expressed by colonising nations. They drew the borders of Central Africa to suit their agreements over how the region’s natural resources would be apportioned and not according to that which naturally binds the region’s diverse people.

CAR is a warning cry about the politicisation of sectarianism and the management of conflict through inflaming religious emotions.

God is our aide. May deliverance arrive soon.

#CAR #CentralAfricanRepublic

“We made everything on earth an ornament for it, that We might test which of them are best in conduct” (Kahf: 7)

Behind every ornament that enchants the soul lies a test in good conduct.

May you have a blessed Friday, pondering on surat al-kahf and with plentiful salutations upon the prophet of mercy, peace be upon him and his family.

The solutions to the setbacks facing Islam’s religious discourse require a unification of efforts and and an assumption of responsibility by all stakeholders involved.

They, the stakeholders, are: (1) the scholars/ulama (who have the largest share of the responsibility since every area has it own expertise and this is their area of expertise); (2) political leaders; (3) the media; (4) the wealthy, business people, and economists; and (5) academics who preside over the teaching, schooling and education of younger generations.

These five groups have a primary responsibility in redressing the setbacks. A secondary responsibility falls on the listener – i.e. he/she whom listens to and is a recipient of the discourse.

For example, if the listener observes that the speaker’s tone is repressive or inciting, he/she should bring it to the speaker’s attention that this is unacceptable and walk away in peace. The speaker, who is being seen as a representative of the Islamic tradition and applying it, will thus begin to feel that if he deviates from this path there will be no one left willing to listen.

The Prophet said, peace be upon him: “Verily God will not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people (from their hearts), rather, He will take knowledge away by taking away the scholars (by reclaiming their souls); so that when He leaves no scholar behind, people will take the ignorant as leaders. Then they are asked to deliver religious verdicts (fatwa) and they deliver them without knowledge. They go astray, and cause other to go astray”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim).

A setback suffered by Islam’s religious discourse has been the onset of a methodology that uses terms that attempt to narrow the broad and expansive understanding of Islam in terms of its content and how it is conveyed.

It gives the listener the impression that this is the only legitimate perspective on Islam from amongst the myriad of perspectives in the Islamic tradition. As a result, we have been led towards emptying the tradition of an inherent lofty value: the value of diversity and the acceptance of multiple opinions and perspectives.

Sh. Al-Yaqoubi in Istanbul February 2014

His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is visiting Istanbul and will be delivering the following public talk on Wed. 12th February

Balance Between Deen and Dunya

Time: 12:30-01:30 pm (after Zuhr prayer).

Address:
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif Üniversitesi
Yenikapı Mevlevihanesi
Cevizlibaǧ – İstanbul

His Eminence will be available for questions, guidance and counselling after the talk.

Brothers and sisters are welcome

info@sacredknowledge.co.uk

Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, from Damascus, Syria, is one of the most preeminent Islamic scholars in the world today, having been included in the Royal Aal al-Bayt’s publication of the 500 most influential Muslims for three years running. He was born into a family of scholars who descend from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi, a sufi guide, a jurist and a scholar of hadith; was an instructor at the prestigious Grand Omayyad Mosque in Damascus. He regularly travels the world delivering charismatic speeches and courses in both Arabic and English, which changed the lives many Muslims; and over a thousand people embraced Islam at his hands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Yaqoubi

Please share with your contacts, friends and family. Sh. Al-Yaqoubi in Istanbul February 2014

His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is visiting Istanbul and will be delivering the following public talk on Wed. 12th February

Balance Between Deen and Dunya

Time: 1pm – 2pm (after Zuhr prayer).

Address:
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif Üniversitesi
Yenikapı Mevlevihanesi
Cevizlibaǧ – İstanbul

His Eminence will be available for questions, guidance and counselling after the talk.

Brothers and sisters are welcome

info@sacredknowledge.co.uk

Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, from Damascus, Syria, is one of the most preeminent Islamic scholars in the world today, having been included in the Royal Aal al-Bayt’s publication of the 500 most influential Muslims for three years running. He was born into a family of scholars who descend from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi, a sufi guide, a jurist and a scholar of hadith; was an instructor at the prestigious Grand Omayyad Mosque in Damascus. He regularly travels the world delivering charismatic speeches and courses in both Arabic and English, which changed the lives many Muslims; and over a thousand people embraced Islam at his hands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Yaqoubi

Please share with your contacts, friends and family.

45 people interested · 169 people going

#PropheticMiracles2014

Free Admission | Separate seating for Sisters | info@sacredknowledge.co.uk

Saturday 19th April

Introduction to event and 1st session: 10.30am

Last session to end by 11pm at the latest.

Sunday 20th April

Start: 11am

Last session to end by 11pm at the latest

Monday 21st April

Start: 11am

Last session to end at Maghrib time (approx. 8.20pm)

Please note that it is unlikely there will be classes between Dhuhr (2pm) and ‘Asr (6pm) on all 3 days.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GztxiO7pZ3c

Website: www.miraclesoftheprophet.com

254 people interested · 1,602 people going

#PropheticMiracles2014

Free Admission | Separate seating for Sisters | info@sacredknowledge.co.uk

Saturday 19th April

Introduction to event and 1st session: 10.30am

Last session to end by 11pm at the latest.

Sunday 20th April

Start: 11am

Last session to end by 11pm at the latest

Monday 21st April

Start: 11am

Last session to end at Maghrib time (approx. 8.20pm)

Please note that it is unlikely there will be classes between Dhuhr (2pm) and ‘Asr (6pm) on all 3 days.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GztxiO7pZ3c

Website: www.miraclesoftheprophet.com

254 people interested · 1,602 people going

In the post Ottoman phase of recent Islamic history the mechanism by which students of sacred knowledge were trained and prepared was altered. This mechanism – from being a method that was linked to a chain (sanad) of transmission – was reconstructed into an academic approach for studying the sacred sciences. The latter replaced the former.

Academia, as a modern research methodology produced by the human mind, is extremely beneficial when it complements the traditional Islamic methodology bequeathed to us through a continuous chain of transmission.

The moment academia serves to replace traditional methodology as the primary tool through which religion is understood, disaster occurs. It is then that rules and regulations are flaunted. In the past no one would dare to ascend the pulpit except he was authorised to do so by a scholar who testified to his knowledge, behaviour, morality and ability. Today the situation of who speaks for Islam is chaotic.