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To Speak Justice Against Tyrants is Sunnah

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

10 June 2011 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jumu`ah Khutbah

(...) Not what you yourself needs to do, but what I have to do. Prophet (s) said, “Your biggest enemy in yourself is your self.” Prophet (s) said, the biggest enemy to you is your arrogant self that wants everything for your self. Ego is so strong that Prophet (s) polished the Sahaabah (r) with ihsaan.

So as time has passed, people who have power are trying to take over the whole world, and those that want power gain it on the blood of their people. They want to teach you how to be a leader; it means how to be a big leader, means how to have a big ego. Leaders have a big ego; if they can kill everyone for their own tribe and family, they will do it. They don’t want khayr, goodness, for anyone. This is what we are falling into. Look in Middle East countries, we never see a French revolution in Muslim countries. This now they sitting are on chairs and they won’t leave until they are on the blood of their own people.

So this is what we are falling into today, even those who are close to awliyaaullah are trying to benefit from the name of their shaykh in order to have their own leadership. This is happening all around the world. I am speaking in general. For scholars, school teachers, and professors, the same thing applies. This is a sickness contaminating and affecting everyone.

Prophet (s) mentioned what you are going to see in the Last Days. We are going to see it, so we have to be very careful about how we behave in relation to these problems. One of the hadiths of Holy Prophet (s) states that Arab countries will fight, Muslim killing Muslim. Show me a place where there is no fighting? With suicide bombs they kill non-Muslims, but now all the way from Morocco to Iran, Muslims are killing Muslims.

قال النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم"والذي نفسي بيده لتأمرن بالمعروف ولتنهون عن المنكر,أو ليوشكن اللهُ أن يبعث عليكم عقاباً منه,ثم تدعونه فلا يُستجاب لكم" . الترمذي

w’alladhee nafsee bi-yadihi la-taamaruna bi ’l-ma`aroof wa la-tanhawna `ani’l-munkar aw layushikanna-Llah `Azza wa Jalla an yaba`th `alaykum `iqaaban minhu thumma tad`oonahu wa lam yastajaaba lakum.

Prophet (s) said of the Signs of the Last Days, narrated from Abu Hudayfah (r), “I give an oath, as my soul is in Allah’s hands,” la-taamaroona bi ’l-ma`aroof, “You are going to call for good.”

There are groups of people in Arab countries who go around telling everyone what they should and should not be doing, especially in Hijaz, Mecca, and Medinah, and they are in Europe and America. Now the Tablighi, Wahhabi, Sufi, Sunni people, all are doing the same, even the Shi`a. Prophet (s) said that this is what you are going to do, and wa la-tanhawna `ani ’l-munkar, “You are going to prohibit what is bad,” aw layushikanna-Llah `azza wa jalla an yaba`th `alaykum `iqaaban minhu, “but Allah is going to send upon you punishment because of what most Muslims are doing.” Thumma tad`oonahu, “Then you are going to raise your hands in Du`a al-Qunoot,” which, especially in times of war, you are allowed to do this prayer in witr, in the last raka`at, asking Allah (swt) to take all these difficulties away from you, but, thumma tad`oonahu fa laa yustajaaba lakum, “You will ask and Allah will not respond to you, He will throw it in your face!”

Why? Because of our ego, because we are like dragons, not caring for anyone else, and setting ourselves in front, because we care only for our own benefit. Because they are petting the leaders, they are hypocrites! They are coming to the leaders in any field, as I am speaking in general. It is for all, whether a president, prime minister, scholars, normal people, doctors, engineers: each one caresses the other out of hypocrisy because they need something -- to get a job, to get money -- and we are all falling into that!

What did Prophet say to that?

عن أبي سعيد الخدري أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إن من أعظم الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر

`An Abi Sa`eed al-Khudri afdalu ‘l-jihaad kalimatu’l-`adl `inda sultaanin jaa’ir, “.... the best of jihad.” It is not going to kill innocent people as it is a word, kalimatu ‘l-`adl, “a word of justice,” which means “to be a just person.” If the leader is saying something wrong, you say, “You are wrong,” even if he is a scholar, an engineer, a judge or a Sufi, whatever. Don’t say, “He is the leader (so don’t criticize him),” or then you will make that one more stubborn. No, say, “You are wrong.” Don’t cover it up or you will make him more stubborn and arrogant and cause more problems for the community and the country. Say, “No, you are wrong.” Kalimatu ‘l-`adil:

لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوَءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلاَّ مَن ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ سَمِيعًا عَلِيمًا

laa yuhibbu ‘Llahu ‘l-jahra bi ‘s-sooi mina ‘l-qawli illa man `ulima wa kaana Allahu sami`an `aleem.

Allah loves not that evil should be voiced in public except where injustice has been done, for Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:148)

Allah does not like for someone to expose someone else except when you are oppressed; otherwise you do not say anything, unless you are oppressed. This means if you are not oppressed it is not your business, but if you are oppressed, say it to his or her face! It’s an order of Prophet (s). Kalimatu ‘l-`adl, “The best of jihad,” is to say a just word, `inda sultaanin jaa`ir. So Prophet (s) started at the top and thereby included everyone from the top to the bottom, in an authentic hadith `inda sultaanin jaa`ir, even to the face of a tryrannical sultan who cares for nothing except his pockets and himself, and is not looking after his people. In such a case you have the right to say that. And this is what Prophet (s) called, “the best of jihad.” Now people everywhere are standing up against the governments in different countries and facing death, and they are doing as Prophet (s) said, the jihad of justice, they don’t have weapons but they are making jihad as Prophet said, they are saying the word of justice. “We don’t want you! You are tyrants, go away!”

O Muslims! This is what is needed. Of course you are Muslim, doing the five prayers, following the basic infrastructure of Islam, the first pillar is shahaada, but Prophet (s) is showing us there are other sides of Islam: `ibaadaat, mu`amalaat, `itiqaadaat. You have faith, imaan, to believe, in the are angels, the holy books, and then you have to go beyond the basic level to the highest level of ihsaan.

The Prophet (s) said:

ادبني ربي فأحسن تأديبي

adabanee rabbee fa ahsana taa'deebee.

Allah perfected my adab, discipline.

Allah (swt) said:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

wa innaka la-`ala khuluqin `azheem.

You are of the most exalted character. (al-Qalam, 68:4)

It means: “Yaa Muhammad! You are of the best character.”

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال " إياكم والجلوس في الطرقات " فقالوا : "يا رسول الله ما لنا من مجالسنا بُدّ ، نتحدث فيها !" فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم " فإذا أبيتم إلا المجلس فأعطوا الطريق حقه" ، قالوا :" وما حق الطريق يا رسول الله ؟" قال : " غض البصر وكف الأذى ، ورد السلام ، والأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر." متفق عليه .

`an abee sa`eed al-khudree radi-allahu `anhu `ani ’n-Nabi (s) qaal: iyyakum wa’l-juloosa fi’t-turuqaat. qaaloo: yaa rasoolullah maa lanaa min majaalisanaa bud. natahaddith feeha. fa-qaala rasoolullahi sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallama fa idhaa abaytum ila al-majlisa fa-a`atoo at-tareeqa haqqah. qaaloo: wa maa haqqa at-tareeq yaa rasoolullah? Qaala: ghadu’l-basara wa kaffu’l-adhaa wa raddu ’s-salaam wa’l-amru bi’l-ma`roofi wa’n-nahiyy `ani ’l-munkar.

And Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (r) said, Iyyaakum wa ’l-juloosa fi ’t-turooqaat. Iyyaakum? “Beware!” And Mawlana said it like this, “Beware of Shaytan!” And Prophet (s) said, “Beware of sitting in the street.”

This means, don’t sit on the street or go to coffee shops and just sit around. That was the habit of people in the early times of Islam and before, and it is still the habit. Starbucks are everywhere. Don’t sit on the street (out in public). The Sahaabah (r) said, “There is no other place that we have to sit to talk to each other!” So Prophet (s) first gave them examples of the highest manners but when they commented, complained, he dropped the level, saying, fa idhaa abayta ila ’l-majlisa fa`atoo at-tareeqah haqqahu, “If you do have to sit, and I am not prohibiting you from it, give the street its right.”

So then you have the right of the street; this is giving us good character. What is that right? When you sit on the street with the chairs and table and the coffee, why don’t you sit inside? Why do you want to sit on the street (sidewalk)? Only to see who is passing by. Wa maa haqqu ’t-tareeq, yaa Rasoolullah, “What is the right of the street, yaa Rasoolullah?” they asked Prophet (s). He said, ghadu ’l-basar, “Lower your gaze!” Don’t look everywhere.

Who can do that? Why are you sitting on the street? To look up, as we are always looking up. Ghadu ’l-basar wa kafu’l-adha wa raddu ’s-salaam wa ’l-amru bi’l-ma`roof wa’n-nahiyy `ani ’l-munkar. “Look down and don’t backbite each other.” In those days the streets were narrow and they sat there backbiting each other. wa raddu ’s-salaam, “and if someone gives salaam, return it.” wa ’l-amru bi’l-ma`roof wa’n-nahiyy `ani ’l-munkar, so Prophet is turning it into a masjid and telling them, “So if you want to sit on the street, discuss the Holy Qur’an and my hadith. Don’t discuss dunya or speak about people.”

O Muslims! There are many other things. These are important characteristics: afdalu ‘l-jihaad kalimatu haqq, “The best of struggles is to speak a word of truth.” To say a word of truth or justice in front of a tyrant applies to all, from the highest to the lowliest, so no one is being excused. Don’t say, “You can’t criticise this one.” Prophet (s) said you may criticise anyone if they are an oppressor. Say to them, “You are wrong, we don’t accept what you are saying, correct yourself,” but in a nice way, there is no need to fight, we are not allowed to fight, but we can say to them, “You are wrong.”

That is why there is opposition, but the opposition is not doing it for Allah, they are doing it for chairs (power). But you are doing it for Islam, for Prophet (s). May Allah protect us.