The Ansarallah fighter’s missile strike at a Saudi air base near Jeddah has sent the Saudi regime into frenzied panic. The Bani Saud have unleashed their paid agents worldwide accusing the Houthis (the label used for Ansarallah fighters) of firing the missile at the Kaaba with the intention of destroying Islam’s holiest site. Nothing could be further from the truth but as the saying goes, a lie is half way around the world before truth has had a chance to tie its shoelaces.2
Next week we will all be here trying to renew and energise the celebration of Eid even though our collective memory is incapable of putting these meanings in proper context. As we approach the day of Eid, the tenth of Dhi Al Hijjah, (and) as we approach this day of our yearly assembly it might be worth our time in this khutbah- with the taqwa of Allah on our minds and in our feelings- to try to contribute to the proper contextualising of what al hajj means in at least one of its aspects, as there are plenty of meanings to this yearly assembly of committed Muslims. Let us try to look at the hajj as it was in the days of Allah’s Prophet before he was forty years old and before there was any revealed ayaat or Qur’an from Allah.
Needless to say that on this day and at this time we concentrate on our minds, we focus our minds on the taqwa of Allah, (i.e.) Allah’s unparalleled power presence, Allah’s unrivalled authority. When we speak about taqwa we speak about it in a context. Brothers and sisters- we are not dreaming; we are not imagining things. There’s a real world, there’s a real power and there’s a real authority. The source comes from that reality and we surrender our lives returning to that reality. If the events that are taking place in today’s world- and with our lives of accountability and with taqwa central to this time and to this place- we remind you of what may be called the geopolitical area in the Qur’an. We know you are not used to preachers or to lecturers who are brave enough to bring the information of the Qur’an into today’s world and into your life. The fact of the matter is that Allah tells us that He has sent to all social communities of the world messengers.
In about another week the Muslims who have gone to Makkah will have reached the climax of their sha’aa’ir/their Islamic ceremonies there. We did not, (as is the convention), use the past two or three or more Khutbahs to speak about the Hajj. We hope and we wish the time arrives quickly when the Hajj is a meaningful one and when we can speak about it in preparation for it; but what’s the use of speaking about it when it is performed in a vacuum. There’s something about Makkah. When Muslims use their God-given minds and think about Makkah, there’s something peculiar about it. Before there was a Makkah there was just sand; no life, no livelihood, no inhabitants, no human habitat. How did Makkah come into existence? The physical Makkah came into existence because of the history of struggle of Ibrahim (alayhi as salaam). Ibrahim, (as we insha’Allah know), was dislocated from his people, from his society, from his culture- from all that goes with living a normal life.
Next week the Muslims will ascend Mount Arafat. That is the only station in the Hajj in which all of the Muslims are required to assemble together. All of the other areas they can do at different times. All of the Muslims will be at this particular station of the Hajj on what is called the Day of Arafah. The performance or practice of the Hajj, as we have said many times before, has been distorted. What we would like to express from understanding Allah and the words or book that He has given us as explained and demonstrated by His Prophet is an ayah in Surah Al Hajj- this can be your reference if you want to return to it. Of course, there are other ayaat that follow it but because of the limitation of time we will concentrate our mental attention on this ayah. It’s not very difficult for you to keep up with. We’re not going through a very long lecture or a super detailed presentation that will challenge your ability to understand. No. This is a straight forward/clear ayah.
In a matter of less than ten days the Muslims of the world will be concentrated in Makkah. Unfortunately their concentration is not going to be of any substance. You reap what you sow! If Muslims haven’t been thinking about Makkah, understanding what it means and analysing what its effects should be then they just become individuals who go and come meaninglessly. So what is Makkah?
There’s less than two months when the Muslims will assemble in the area of Makkah and go through the motions/movements of the Hajj. It concerns us quite profoundly to know that the meanings of this yearly act of devotion are absent. We’ve tried on previous occasions to reconstruct some of these meanings and we will try again, (not to be repetitive), to build up these meanings so that we can eventually have a meaningful and thus a practical Hajj. It all begins with Ibrahim (alaihi as salaatu wa as salaam). The ayah in the Qur’an that gives us a general understanding of Ibrahim is ayah fifty-one of Surah Al Ambiya’. This is a very good overview of who Ibrahim was and who he was going to become.
What you are about to read in this article may be regarded by some as controversial. These words are put together during the season of the Hajj, which is a good time to try to counter the tons of misinformation we have about the Saudi regime, which has done so much to diminish this annual expression of the independence and power of the Ummah to little more than a ritual void of warmth, enthusiasm, and spirit.
In view of the present situation in Iraq, where bloodshed is widespread, and where aggression on assets and property, perpetrated under the guise of Islam, is daily occurrence, and in response to the invitation of the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and under the umbrella of the OIC International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), We the scholars of Iraq, from both the Sunnis and the Shiites, having met in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in Ramadan of the Lunar Hijra year of 1427H (2006) and deliberated on the situation in Iraq and the disastrous plight of the Iraqi people, issue and proclaim the following Declaration
The Holy City was host to a very different gathering of Muslims from all over the Ummah, the “Kings, Heads of State and Government, and Emirs of the Member States” of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the club of Muslim countries established after the burning of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1969
Last month, the Organization of the Islamic Conference held an Extraordinary Summit in Makkah to discuss urgent issues facing the Ummah. Unlikely though it may seem, ZAFAR BANGASH, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, hopes that some good may come of it...
The study of the Seerah of the Prophet (saw) to learn lessons relevant to the contemporary Islamic movement is a major project of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought. Here, IMAM MUHAMMAD AL-'ASI, of Washington DC, discusses the centrality of Makkah in the strategy of the Prophet’s Seerah, and its implications for Muslims today.
Last month, Crescent International published the paper presented by Imam Muhammad al-Asi at the ICIT Seerah conference in Toronto on May 10. SHAMA QURESHI, a reader in the UK, is less than entirely convinced by his argument...
Clashes occur within or between societies when ideological differences emerge. The pre-Islamic Makkan society was based on idol-worship; into this environment was introduced the message of tawheed, the Oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, embodied in the kalimah.
We were truly all the same (brothers)—because their belief in one God had removed the ‘white’ from their minds, the ‘white’ from their behavior, and the ‘white’ from their attitude. I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man—and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their differences in color.