الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل صحةَ الإنسان وحياةَ المجتمعِ في إصلاح المعاملة، وحفِظها في المدينة المنورة، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين. أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
Last week, we mentioned how following the Sunna lies at the very heart of the affair, how it is the key that opens up the deen of Allah and makes it possible for a person to live his life in the manner prescribed by His Creator. Indeed, we can go so far as to say that the degree to which a person follows the Sunna is the degree to which he obeys Allah and the degree to which he is in fact a Muslim. Allah says,
من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع الله
the translation of which is, “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.” Whoever’s life corresponds to that of the Messenger of Allah has obeyed Allah. This applies to everything in your life, not just to what we term as acts of worship, for the Prophet led a full and complete life. He was not a hermit or a monk – he was a man. He got married, had children, travelled, fought, entertained and engaged in commerce and trade. All of these things form an integral part of the Sunna, his noble example, and such is our Lord’s blessing to us that none of it has been lost. Our Lord has insured its preservation. There are people in every generation who keep it alive. It may be that some of it has slipped from the realm of action to that of knowledge, but there are still ahlu-dh-dhikr to instruct and guide us. Those people will always be with us, even as the world slips into darkness and ignorance all around.
We cannot blame our failure to properly follow the Sunna on a lack of access, it is all there, available at the flick of a switch. The entire life transaction of the Messenger of Allah has been recorded and preserved, whether through the books of hadith, the books of fiqh or the actions and practices of the people of Allah and people of knowledge of each generation. Any circumstance you face, guidance is there. Now this is clear and readily apparent to every Muslim under the sun when it comes to acts of worship – we all know the sunna prayers and sunna parts of wudu, as well as when it comes to acts of goodness and kindness, such as giving sadaqa and visiting the sick, and even birth, marriage and death. But, unfortunately it has largely been forgotten when it comes to matters relating to trade and commerce, the bread and butter of a person’s life. For too many, such matters are considered outside the remit of Islam and simply a means to an end, an enabler if you will that allows them and their dependents to continue to survive and exist and thus to continue to be able to worship. But they are so much more than that. The Prophet said,
“The Deen is mu‘amala – transactions”. It is those day-to-day transactions and interactions with others that define you as a Muslim and give you your identity. They make up the greatest portion of your life and it is highly likely that death will find you engaged in something of that nature. It is upon how you are in those transactions that the acceptability of your life with your Lord might hinge, so it is vitally important that you make sure they are correct in the eyes of Allah. For the truth of the matter is that they are as much a part of your worship as the acts of worship themselves. It is narrated that ‘Isa ibn Maryam came upon a man who had given over his life totally to worship, so he asked him who it was who supported him. When the man replied that his brother worked to support him, ‘Isa said,
أخوك أعبد منك
“Your brother is more of a worshipper than you are.” And the famous tabi’i, Thabit al-Bunani used to say, “Nine tenths of ‘ibada is in working for a living, only one tenth is in actual acts of worship.”
The fuqaha recognised this reality and recognised how the well-being of any society depends upon how closely a people obey Allah and follow the Sunna of His Messenger in such matters, so they dedicated the vast majority of their books of fiqh to muamalat. Only one fifth of the great book of Imam Malik, the Mudawanna, relates to acts of worship, the rest deals with the laws, conditions and rules of transaction.
But, today, ninety percent of those rules have been abandoned and left by the wayside. So far removed have they become from the everyday practices of the people that even many of the ulama struggle to find modern terms to explain them to the people, and often do not adequately understand them themselves. Instead, they simply take the terms and apply them to different elements of modern finance so that people think that what they are doing is fine.
But what they are doing is not fine, for modern finance is rotten to the core, and no amount of clever use of language will change that. Renaming interest as profit does not make it so, nor does calling an interest-bearing loan mudaraba or qirad. These terms have very specific rules and preconditions which these bank transactions fail to meet.
And that is to say nothing of the fact that modern finance is built on riba and could not exist without it. It is at the heart of every paper currency and drives what is called economic growth. And so, by plugging into it, we inadvertently become parties to a practice against which Allah and His Messenger have declared war, for does not our Lord say,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ
the translation of which is, “You who have belief! have taqwa of Allah and forgo any remaining riba if you are believers. If you do not, know that it means war from Allah and His Messenger.”
Modern finance is anathema to Islam and can never be adapted to fit it, the only place to find Islam is in the example of the Prophet and his Companions. They way they transacted is the way we must transact. The methods they used, and the rules and laws they followed are the ones we must follow. And you cannot dismiss them as backward or unsophisticated, just as you cannot dismiss the movements of the prayer or the Arabic statements in it as backward and unsophisticated. The Prophet said,
صلّوا كما رأيتموني أصلي
“Pray in the manner you have seen me pray.” And indeed, he made a man repeat the prayer again and again until he had got it fully right. While this hadith refers to the prayer, the scholars have understood it to apply to everything he brought. He was sent to show all of us how to live, not just the Arabs of his time. And Allah knew that we, the people of this time, would be part of his umma, so his example applies to us today just as much as the people then. So, if it appears ill-fitting, as I mentioned last week, the problem lies with us and our society, not it.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. قال النبي صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: طلب الحلال جهاد
The Prophet said, “Seeking the halal is a form of jihad.”
Muslims, we live in a strange age where the once traditional boundaries between dar al-Islam and dar al-Kufr have almost ceased to exist. While some nations still define themselves as being Muslim countries, there is nowhere that you can say such and such are the lands of Islam, and to which one could make hijra. The places that lay claim to that are mere parodies of the deen, and poor ones at that.
And the same is true in what was once termed the lands of kufr, for Muslims now live in almost every country in the world, like here in Cape Town. And what that means is that there is no easily defined boundaries between the Muslims and their enemies. Indeed, it is often hard to work out who those enemies are, so who are they are where are they to be found? The secular apparatus of state often talks about the faceless enemy that confronts them, terrorism, but there is an equally faceless enemy that faces Islam, and that is the modern usurious financial system and the conditioning that accompanies it. That is our enemy and that is against whom our jihad in the present day must be fought. Our enemy is no longer any particular nation or leader, they are merely distractions to divert our attention from what is really going on. While the Muslims focus all their attention and ire on America and Israel, their true enemy continues to pick their pockets and leave them bereft of wealth, rights and self-dignity. Their true enemy continues to take away all of their resources and push them further and further into a neverending spiral of debt and servitude.
And that is the enemy against whom we should fight. But this fight is not one with physical weapons, for the enemy is not simply a group of people but a method, a technique. Shaykh Abdalqadir says in a very illuminating article,
“It is not merely a personnel but a method, a deen, with its Temples, the banks; with its holy places the Stock Exchanges of the world; and its false scriptures – the data-banks of figures, these magical millions and billions that hold the world’s poor to ransom for the sake of a small elite of kafir power brokers … It is with these that war must be waged.” Every Prophet destroyed the idols of his people, and these are the idols of the modern era. It is in these numbers and these structures that people believe, and through them that they believe their salvation will come, despite all the evidence to the contrary, despite austerity measures, despite spiraling debt, despite every increasing prices and ever decreasing wages in real terms. Housing, for example, has almost trebled in real terms since the middle of the last century. And yet, despite all this, the systems and structures still hold people in their thrall. So we need to open people’s eyes. We need to take our axe to those idols, as Ibrahim did, and show them up, so that the people wake from their stupor, and acknowledge their error, as Ibrahim’s people did when they turned to one another and said,
إِنَّكُمُ أَنْتُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
the translation of which is, “It is you yourselves who are wrongdoers,” realising that it was not the destruction of their idols that was the act of wrongdoing, it was their continued belief in them. But such was the grip those idols had on their psyches, and so strong was the social imperative to maintain the status quo, that their awakening did not long last and their stupor and slumber was soon restored. Allah says,
ثُمَّ نُكِسُوا عَلَى رُءُوسِهِمْ
the translation of which is, “But then they relapsed back into their kufr.” Any awakening that we can achieve in this present day is unlikely to last without a clear alternative being presented. One which is practical and viable, tried and tested, not a utopian ideal. One which provides what is lacking in the system as it stands, and restores what is missing and what is essential to the social and individual wellbeing of the human race. One which can only be found in the activated Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, the practical application of the Divine guidance, the culmination of his life’s work and teaching, the illuminated city of al-Madina. And by city, we do not mean the buildings and houses, or the streets and parks, but the people and their interactions, deen brought to life and given physical expression. For that is what a Madina truly is. This is the truth that sweeps falsehood from its path. This is the staff of Musa that exposes and eradicates the fakery and empty promises of the modern-day pharaohs and their money wizards. Allah says,
فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْا سَحَرُوا أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَاءُوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى مُوسَى أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلْقَفُ مَا يَأْفِكُونَ فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ فَغُلِبُوا هُنَالِكَ وَانْقَلَبُوا صَاغِرِينَ
the translation of which is, “When they (i.e. the magicians) threw, they cast a spell on the people’s eyes and caused them to feel great fear of them. They produced an extremely powerful magic. So We revealed to Musa, ‘Throw down your staff.’ And it immediately swallowed up what they had forged. So the Truth took place and what they did was shown to be false. They were defeated then and there, transformed into humbled men.”
The Prophetic system is based on the mua’malaat that are preserved and described in great detail in the books of fiqh. And all these muamalat are based on one underlying principle, and that is adl/ equity in the transaction. Allah says,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ
the translation of which is, “Allah commands justice and doing good.” And the Prophet said,
إن العدل ميزان الله في الأرض فمن أخذه قاده إلى الجنة ومن تركه ساقه إلى النار
“Justice is the scales with which Allah measures [the inhabitants of] the earth. It leads those who hold to it to the Garden and drives those who abandon it to the Fire.” A transaction which is just and fair, a sunna transaction, is one which is of mutual benefit to both parties, not one in which the cards are stacked completely in favour of one side, as is the case with almost every transaction carried out today, or in favour of some hidden third party that gains without any risk or input. Given enough time, the inevitable result of such transactions is gross disparity – the enrichment of the few and the impoverishment and eventual enslavement of the many, regardless of the word that is used to describe it. But incredibly, in this mucked-up and topsy-turvy world, a country’s wealth and prosperity, and therefore its success and rating, is measured by how well it does this and how much wealth its centres of wealth have stockpiled. The only way we can show people the absurdity of the situation and system into which they have bought to make the alternative a lived reality. Its effects will be immediate and profound, its attraction will be palpable and undeniable. It will bring people flocking in the groves. It is not a coincidence that almost as many lands were brought to Islam through trade as through jihad and war.
We ask Allah to make us people of ‘adl and ihsan and give us the strength and the knowledge to restore the mu’amalat and revive the deen in our time. We ask Him to place the axe of Ibrahim and the staff of Musa in our hands, and give us the skill, knowledge, wisdom and insight to make use of them to awaken the people from their stupor and present them with an alternative whose value, fairness and efficacy they cannot fail to see. We ask that He place us at the forefronts of those efforts and give us the victory and opening that we so need. We ask for a practical understanding of the application of the complete Sunna in these dark and difficult times, and an asabiyya and brotherhood that enable us to form a community that breathes life back into comatose, downtrodden and unprotesting societies of our age.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.