Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins by reminding of the anchor of every day and age, the Qur’an, and that those who make it part of their soul will thrive; those who do not will remain in confusion at a minimum. He reminds that the Quran calls upon us to “Strive in the way of your Lord,” and that struggle and striving require time, energy, investment and effort. He cites verses from the Quran that tell us that God has selected Muslims–not based on racial, ethnic, tribal, or linguistic factors, but based on a relationship. It is a commitment based on the understanding that: you are among those who struggle in the path of God; you are committed to the struggle; if you find God, you will find the true source of happiness, tranquility and meaning; you are among those who understand that existentially, without Allah, nothing makes sense; with Allah your life has a purpose, and it has consequences, which is a foundational principle for morality itself. If you are among those, then you are among those God has chosen. He cites another Quranic verse that tells us that our relationship with God should lead to peace and tranquillity, not rancor, anger, envy or other human emotions that harm the soul and cause hardship.
He points out that one of the critical tasks that we are called to perform as Muslims is to bear witness upon people. Bearing witness was a sacred job and a moral task that predated Islam, Christianity and Judaism. God knows that bearing witness is a difficult task because it can bring profound consequences as people do not like to be confronted with the truth, especially those in power. However, if you want to create a society that is ethically consistent with Islam, you must create a society in which bearing witness does not lead to hardship. When bearing witness and telling the truth create hardship, human nature is to avoid pain, and will naturally tend to justify behavior that avoids pain. This leads to hypocrisy in the heart. It takes real struggle to go against this natural instinct, especially when it means bearing witness on the side of God and the Prophet in truth in opposition to those in power.
He explains that today, Wahhabism is no longer the problem, rather the theology of obedience to the state that is being propagated as an Islamic imperative all over the world. Under this theology, a Muslim learns that Islam is not intended to create autonomous, active, dynamic, thoughtful, and moral human beings, but rather, creates subservient and obedient human beings, whose relationship to politics is simple obedience. He points out that a society built on such despotism and obedience will breed hypocrisy and cowardliness. This type of Islam will ultimately lead to Islam’s death. This type of hypocrisy is what turns Muslim youth away from the faith.
He gives important examples of how this theology of obedience has resulted in devastation all across the Muslim world, and how it has made Muslims, particularly many Muslim “leaders” begin justifying and supporting the obscene acts of those in power, even to the point of suggesting that Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not holy in Islam. He gives examples of how ultimately, this quietist, pacifist, obedience theology leads to moral relativism, patriarchy and even the justification of slavery. It teaches people that the most important parts of their religion are prayer, fasting and charity, and that all else is unimportant. He draws the analogy to Karl Marx’s assertion that religion is the opiate of the masses, and demonstrates how this version of Islam–an Islam without ethics, without a vision, without a commitment to justice–would be exactly that. Delivered 23 August 2019.
Imam Zaid Shakir clarifies how to make an accurate assessment of what constitutes oppression, the consideration of justice, and not to separate the standards established by the divine law. Recorded on 12/8/2018 at MCA (Muslim Community Center), Santa Clara, CA.
Dr. Tariq Ramadan provides a clear and blunt clarification for the concept of jihad in Islam- its meaning, objectives, and application. Many Muslims and non-Muslims err in understanding it correctly and many misuse it. The screaming example of ISIS will be explained and the position towards its claims.
Standing firmly for justice is a core value in Islam which should be given a priority in managing our resources and planning on both individual and community levels. Our efforts in standing for justice should be principled, not exploitative, and should observe Allah’s ﷻ limits. What are the features of our “Standing for Justice” which might differentiate us from other Social Justice and Advocacy movements? What should American Muslims do to deliver to this religious responsibility?
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Bukhari)
Allah(SWT) mentions in the Qur’an, “There are those people who worship Allah with a condition. If life is good, he’s happy and will happy with Allah. But if life is not good and a Fitnah happens, then he switches his faith in Allah, he ends up losing this world and the next” The wisdom of trying to understand the problems of this world is something that every faith/tradition has struggled with. It is one of the fundamental problems of theology.
The question of trying to understanding why there is pain, why is there suffering? Why is there bloodshed? Why is there evil in this world? This is a question that was asked of Allah even before he created us. When Allah(SWT) announced his creation of man in Surah Al-Baqarah, the angels asked: “Why would you do that” Even the angels asked the same question. Remember this is a question that was asked to better comprehend Allah’s wisdom, not to challenge Allah’s authority.
Are we aware of what’s happening? As we speak amongst a Muslim Minority, called The Rohingya, in the land of Burma/Myanmar? Where our own brothers and sisters have been suffering for a while now.
In this Khutbah, Shaykh Dr Yasir Qadhi provides some background knowledge as we need to know who they are and what’s going on, as we cannot help unless we understand their situation.He leaves us with some advice on how we can help those suffering.
Who are The Rohingya?
The Rohingya, they are one of the smallest ethnicities, who are predominantly Muslims. They are a descendants of a civilization that used to have a Kingdom over 500 years ago. Some of them converted to Islam while the majority didn’t. Those who converted are called The Rohingya.
Shaykh Ahsan Hanif discusses the ongoing crisis of the Rohingya people in Myanmar or Burma. May Allah free these people from oppression and bring justice to them! Ameen! Please do what you can for them and all those suffering.
Peter Kassig was an American from Indiana who was on vacation in Lebanon. He saw the suffering and death in Syria and felt compelled to help them. Instead of going back home, he went to Syria and with is medical knowledge he volunteered his aid. He converted to Islam and was captured by terrorists known as the self-named group “Islamic State” (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh). He was murdered by them. Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi honors his actions in this khutbah.