بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Wilful Denial of the Hijra and its Lessons
Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Sa‘īd Ramadān al-Būtī
All praise belongs to Allah, all praise belongs to Allah; all praise belongs to Allah who guided us to this, and we would not have been guided had Allah not guided us. All praise belongs to Allah for His showering of bounties; all praise belongs to Allah in all states. We seek refuge with Allah from the state of Hell’s inhabitants. All praise belongs to Allah on account of Him placing us in the Umma of Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam – the best of creation. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah – He is alone without any partners – and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; His choice-elect and intimate friend; the best Prophet sent forth. Allah sent him to the world entire as a bringer of glad-tidings and a warner. O Allah! Send Your abundant prayers, peace, and blessings upon our liege lord Muhammad, and upon the family of our liege lord Muhammad: lasting and inseparable peace and prayers until the Last Day. I advise you, o Muslims, and my sinful self, to have fear of Allah, the Exalted. O servants of Allah!
We were expecting the Islamic world to greet the new Hijra year with a renewed covenant with Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, and an increase in applying the lessons of the Hijra and its counsels that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam left with us. How unfortunate it is that we have been taken aback by the exact opposite. We have been taken aback by seeing that most of the leaders of the Arab and Islamic world are in wilful denial of the meanings and lessons of the Hijra. They have turned away from it in belittlement. Through his Hijra from Mecca to Medina, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam advised us and taught us to sacrifice the world entire: the outward trappings of leadership in it as well as all types of desirable things and passions that stand in the way of human values and fundamentals that Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, honoured us with.
We see that most of the rulers are doing the exact opposite of what the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam advised: they are sacrificing humane principles and lofty and firm values for the sake of base desires and passions, and for the sake of cementing their thrones and seats of power. Through his migration from Mecca to Medina, his declaration regarding Islamic brotherhood, his effort in strengthening its roots in the first Islamic state, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam ordered us to be guardians over this brotherhood and to fulfil its rights. When we look, we see that most of the rulers in the Arab and Islamic world are in wilful denial of this brotherhood and command of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam. They sacrifice the brotherhood of Islam for the sake of cementing their thrones and for the sake of gaining more fanciful and ephemeral desires, vain passions, and wealth.
The words of Allah, the Exalted and Sublime: (The believers are nothing but brothers; so make peace between your brothers.) are simply forgotten; they are recited yet the opposite is done; and they are heard, yet they are belittled. Servants of Allah! The current killing that engulfs women, children, the elderly, and every innocent – killing that has become a bloody-wound that refuses to heal – is not because of a particular piece of land. The targets of this operation – an operation planned in advance, as is not hidden to anyone – are not just the people of Gaza, but also the entire Islamic world. The people of Gaza are simply the sacred symbol of the Islamic world entire. The Mosques that were destroyed and the Qur’āns that were torn to bits in Gaza were not for a particular piece of land. It is symptomatic of [their desire] to put an end to the religion of Islam wherever it is found and wherever its sun has spread and wherever its light has shined. In this operation, the people of Gaza are simply the sacred symbol of the Islamic world entire!
The forces of evil and the perfidious beasts that lurk and lie in wait for the innocent are not restricted to a lowly group of people. Nay, they are found in all sorts of groups the world over, who have all united in their enmity towards Islam and come together in their efforts, motivated by their intense hatred and desire to put an end this radiant light [Islam] that has spread across the world. Israel and its cowardly cohorts are nothing more than the lowliest symbol of this force doing its dastardly work today.
There are two symbols. The first symbol is that of Gaza, the sacred symbol of the Islamic world whose destruction is sought; the sacred symbol of Islam, the light of which some seek to extinguish. The second symbol is that of Israel and its cowardly cohorts. Israel is the symbol for the forces of evil that collude together across the world. These forces have agreed and decided that Islam and its supposed danger is to be dealt with wherever it is found. They have decided that they will rid themselves of the instability they suffer from that is a result of the dangerous spread of Islam here and there.
Servants of Allah! In the dawn of this new Hijrī year when the Islamic Umma remembers the migration of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam and the first peaceful Islamic state established by him, we look and what do we see? We see the counterfeit mask of Islam dropping from the faces of those who openly professed – and perhaps continue to profess – Islam. Today, those counterfeit masks are dropping on account of this Divine test: the test of invitation to and assistance of Islam, moral values, and peace that our Lord called us to by sending the Messengers and Prophets.
Islam calls upon us to aid our oppressed brothers who are murdered and whose blood is shed day and night. When we look, we see those with the counterfeit masks joining the ranks of the enemy. When we look, we see the masks of Islam dropping from their faces – masks that have for so long fooled us time and time again! It is as if they are saying – with either their tongue of statement or tongue of mute-statement – to those who urge them to fulfil the covenant and duty placed on their shoulders: “And who told you that we represent this Umma over whose chest we have erected our throne? Nay, we represent the forces of evil; we represent Israel – the lowliest and vilest symbol of evil the world over!”
Servants of Allah! This test has both an inner and outer aspect; it has a manifest aspect and a hidden aspect. Its manifest aspect is in the suffering that breaks our hearts. I don’t think that our Islamic history has ever recorded a test like this one. The Islamic world has faced many a plot, be it in the east or the west, however never has a plot reached this extent. That is the outward and manifest aspect of this test. The inner aspect of this test is a bounty from Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, in order to make clear and distinguish the truthful person from the liar, and in order to rent asunder the masks of hypocrisy.
With regards to Gaza and its people, from this position of mine I am unable to send them anything but one condolence that is represented in two verses from the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Sublime. It is my hope that both of these verses reach the ears of our brothers there who are observing steadfastness and patience. The first verse is Allah’s words: (If a wound should touch you, a similar wound has already touched the [opposing] people. And these days [of changing conditions] We alternate between the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and may take to Himself from among you martyrs. And Allah does not like the wrongdoers. And that Allah may purify the believers and destroy the disbelievers.) The second verse is Allah’s words (and it is as if it was revealed today addressing them in order to cool the fire of their hearts): (If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieve drove him out as one of two when they [the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam and Abū Bakr d ] were in the cave and he said to his companion: “Do not grieve, indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers (Angels) you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest. And the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and All-Wise.)
Dear brothers! Take notice of the difference between the two sentences here, you will realize the vast difference in meaning between the two of them. He, the Exalted, said: (…and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest…). He did not say “And made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest and [made] the word of Allah the highest”. In reference to His word, He did not use the verb “made” [ja‘al], which is based on a particular time. Rather, He revealed it as an independent sentence: (And the word of Allah – that is the highest.) This means that His word is the highest in every era and at all times – those who know this know it and those who are ignorant of this are ignorant of it.
As for the rulers of the Arab and Islamic world, I say to them (and it is not me who is saying this, rather it is Islam and Allah’s warning and glad tidings that say this – and everyone is free to chose the path he will follow): the life span of this world is short, so consider the life span of man. It is quite possible that one of the rulers has death knocking on his door; perhaps he will wake up and not live till the evening. What treasures will he be able to take with him when he meets Allah? To where shall he carry his throne when he goes to Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, and is in his grave and then in the position in which he shall stand before our Master, the Lord of the worlds? Who among them thinks he will be brought before Allah and shall sit on his throne outstretched? You will only go to Allah naked and bereft of all of that, as Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, said. You will only go to Allah in a state of abject poverty, having lost all of that. Woe unto you! Take advantage of the few remaining hours of your life before you go to Allah and face wretchedness without end!
Regarding your brothers who seek your help and who ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, for victory through you, you must know that victory is only from Allah, however it is a test by which Allah examines some of His servants through others, in order to reward the former by means of the latter, or to punish the former because of their crimes against the latter. How strange is the state of man! He shuts his eyes to this clear reality! Take money, but don’t worship it. Sit in the chair in which Allah has placed you but don’t worship your chair day and night. You shall depart from this world: (There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most-Merciful as a servant. He has enumerated them and counted them with a full counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.)
You shall return to Allah with one thing and one thing alone: your righteous actions; the services you offered to your brothers; your fulfilment and acting in accordance to your Master’s words: (The believers are nothing but brothers; so make peace between your brothers.)
He said: (…make peace…) How astounding is the state of the person who hears Allah’s words when they strike his ears, yet he chooses to corrupt that which is between him and his brothers. Their brothers in Allah adjure them to open up the paths in front of them; for their good-pleasure; for their injured; for those in dire straits among them; in order for brothers to embrace each other and help each other; yet these rulers respond with nothing but closed ears and closed paths. However, as for Israel, it need only command and they obey; its need only deliver its judgment and their heads will bow down in humiliating submission.
I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to make this test serve as a lesson. I ask that He grants us the ability to derive its lesson. As for this Levant [Syria] of ours, I ask Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, to increase it in patience. I ask Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, to increase it in success and to outstretch all bridges to cooperation that can possibly be outstretched: the bridges of victory and the bridges of brotherhood that Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, ordered us with. I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to make all of our motivations for the sake of His Good pleasure. I say these words of mine and I seek the forgiveness of Allah, the Tremendous; seek His forgiveness, He shall forgive you. All praise belongs to Allah. I praise Him abundantly as He commanded. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah – testifying to His Godhood and enraging those who deny Him and disbelieve in Him. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; His choice-elect and intimate friend; and the best Prophet sent forth. Allah sent him to the world entire as a bringer of glad-tidings and a warner. Servants of Allah! Fear Allah concerning that which He commands, and abstain from that which He forbids and rebukes. Expel the love of the world from your hearts, for when it overcomes a heart it imprisons it. Dear brothers! I am most certain that your hearts have all welled up with painful feelings. And I am most certain that these painful feelings are waiting for you to express them in ways that shall bring coolness to your breasts and lighten the scorching of your hearts. You have listened attentively to the words I have spoken, and now the time has come for you to express your feelings that, if anything, indicate an increase in faith in Allah and an increased attachment to brotherhood for Allah’s sake.
After we are finished with the Friday Prayer, you are all more than able to gather in this Mosque in order to raise your voices and express your feelings and release your moans unto the heavens, as humble supplications to Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, asking Him to respond. Cries that you can release and spread through the horizon – perchance they will reach the ears of the rulers, and perchance one of those cries will wake up the slumbering rulers and bring them to attention before they die. After the completion of the Friday Prayer, go out to the courtyard of this Mosque to express it as a shout among shouts and an expression among expressions; one brotherhood expressing it as one and teaching it to those who are wont to go their own way and separate. I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to place among us one who will supplicate and whose supplication will be answered.
There is something further I wish to mention here, namely, a Sunna of old that was taught to us by the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam for use in these situations and difficulties. It is that we should supplicate with the nāzila supplication [during times of tribulation] after making [our backs] erect after coming up [from the bowing position] of the final unit of prayer: in this case, after coming up from the second unit of the Friday Prayer to be prayed now. It is the nāzila supplication in which we respond to Allah’s command, Exalted is He. All of you are believers, and without doubt there is among you someone whose supplication, Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, will answer.
O Allah! Send Your prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent Your prayers upon Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm – and bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, just as You have blessed Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm in the worlds, indeed, You are Glorious, worthy of all praise. May Allah be pleased with the rightly guided Caliphs and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment.
O Allah! Forgive the Muslims; men and women alike; and forgive the believing men and women; the living from them as well as the dead. Unite their hearts, o Possessor of might and nobility! O Allah! You are our Companion in times of loneliness and You are our hope in times of despair. You are what we have in the face of every affliction. O my Lord! Do not cause us in this hour to be distant from Your Mercy! Cause us to taste the coolness of Your kindness and gentleness, o Possessor of might and nobility!
O Allah! Answer our prayers. Grant us – o Allah – our hopes. O Allah! We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of our faith in You and our good thoughts concerning You. We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of Your statement in Your Clear Exposition (the Qur’ān): (Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls Him and removes evil?). We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of Your love for Your Prophet Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam: that You answer our prayers. O Allah! Remove the afflictions from our brothers, the people of Gaza, and from all of the oppressed Muslims in the east and the west. O Allah! Repel from them the plot of the plotters.
O Allah! We place You upon their necks and seek refuge in You from their evil, o Possessor of might and nobility! O Allah! We ask You by virtue of the tears of the bereaved mothers and we ask You by virtue of the pure blood that has been spilt and that remains moist in the land of Gaza – we ask You, o Possessor of might and nobility on behalf of the elderly and the suckling babies; we ask You by virtue of the humility of our slavehood unto You and by virtue of our immense poverty unto You that You answer our prayers.
We are Your desperate slaves, so remove harm from us. We are Your servants who seek refuge at Your door; do not shut us off from Your door, o Possessor of might and nobility! You are the One who forgives our odious deeds. You are the Loving; pardon us with Your beautiful pardon, o Possessor of might and nobility. Do not destroy us – o Most Merciful of those who are merciful – on account of our sins, and do not destroy us on account of the sins of others, o Lord of the worlds! Do not destroy us on account of the transgressions of the rulers who have shown preference to their worldly life over Your command – those who prefer their seats of power and thrones over the honour of slavehood to You, o Possessor of might and nobility!
Give victory to Your Muslims servants in Gaza, o Possessor of might and nobility! I repeat Your statement in Your Clear Exposition (the Qur’ān): ( If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him…)
O Allah! This is a promise that is not restricted to a specific time period; You are the Constant Victor and Helper; You are the Constant source of refuge: ( If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him…) Give victory – o Allah – to Your believing servants. They are believers in You, o Lord of the worlds! They seek refuge in You, o Possessor of might and nobility.
O Allah! All of the thrones of the world – all of the tyrants [tughāt] of the world are unable to do anything in the face of Your victorious help by which you give victory to Your believing servants, o Lord of the worlds! Grant the victory You gave to Your Messenger yesterday, to Your Muslim servants today, o Possessor of might and nobility.
O Lord of the worlds! Forgive us our sins and pardon us with Your beautiful pardon, o Most-Merciful of who is asked and Most-Generous of who gives and answers – o Lord of the worlds! It is You who says: (It is by a mercy from Allah that you dealt softly with them.) You placed within the heart of Your Prophet Muhammad, mercy for Your penitent slaves: have mercy upon us if we swerve from Your Straight Path, o Possessor of might and nobility.
We are Your slaves and we believe in You and hold fast to Your guidance, o Most Merciful of those who show mercy! We are Your servants who are honoured by Your [gift] of Islam and Your Sacred Law. O Allah! O Allah! Respond to our supplications: o You who sees our station and who hears our words at this moment and who knows our secrets and outward selves!
From: Scholars on Gaza