الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل الدينَ الحنيف بين التفريط والإفراط، وجعل خيرَ الأمور هي التي وقع في الأوساط، 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.

 

It was with tremendous shock that we received the news on Monday night, the 29th night of Ramadan and a candidate for the Laylat ul Qadr, of the attack at the Mosque of the Prophet in al-Madinat al-Munawarra, a crime of such seismic proportions that instances of its type in the entire history of Islam since the time of our beloved Messenger can be counted on a single hand. How has this, something that has almost never happened in history, happened in our time? What is it that has given rise to this abomination? For while the person who committed the act may have been mentally unstable, there have been mentally unstable people in the past who have not stooped to such lows. No, the difference today is the prevalence and prominence of extremist khawariji ideology and the acceptance and even silent support of its adherents and leadership in many circles around the world. ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Jahba – these groups have been proliferating in recent times, seduced and emboldened by the apparent success they have enjoyed.

But what have they wrought? What have they achieved? They have simply brought death and destruction in their wake. They have made no ones lives better, least of all the Muslims. Indeed, it is against the Muslims that most of their ire has been directed. The recent suicide bombs have all targetted Muslims – from Turkey to Iraq, Syria to Bangladesh. And now it has culminated in an attack on Madina.

These groups may not have claimed responsibility but it is without a doubt that their ideologies opened the door to this atrocity. It is the culmination of their teaching, but by it they have guaranteed their own downfall and destruction. No one can attack Madina but that he bring the wrath of Allah down upon his head, and the curse and hatred of all right-thinking Muslims across the globe. No one can ever again support them and no support will be forthcoming from their Lord. The Messenger of Allah famously said,

 

من أراد أهل المدينة بسوء، أذابه الله فى النار كما يذوبُ الملحُ فى الماء

 

“If anyone who seeks to harm the people of Madina, Allah will cause him to melt and dissolve into the Fire as salt dissolves into water.” And he said,

 

المدينة حرم ما بين عير إلى ثور فمن أحدث فيها حدثا أو آوى محدثا فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين لا يقبل الله منه يوم القيامة صرفاً ولا عدلاً

 

“Madinah is sacred between the two mounts of Ayr and Thawr. Whoever causes any deviation or supports or gives refuge to any deviant shall incur the curse of Allah, and the curse of the angels, and the curse of all of mankind, and not a single obligatory or supererogatory good deed shall be accepted of him.” No one will fall for their hate-filled rhetoric again, no one will believe their claims to have restored proper khilafate, no one will accept their authority nor believe their views represent those of the Muslims. They have shot themselves in the foot, and that was always going to happen, for such is the natural progression of extremism. Extremists implode – the extremist tendency is inherently self-divisive and self-destructive. They cannot ever create anything. For every decision, they become more isolated not just from the rest of their umma but more isolated from each other. Splinter group after splinter group, each group smaller and more extreme than the previous, and each one believing itself to be in the right and all previous iterations as well as the rest of the Muslims, to be in the wrong. Their enemies constantly grow for they are creating them at every turn, until there is no one left in their view of existence but enemies. This is the natural progression of such a worldview, as has been proven by recent events, for while the bombing in Madina may not be universally agreed upon and applauded by the extremists, they have given risen to the individual that did this act – they have created the atmosphere and the environment necessary for him to come into being.

The truth of ISIS and the other groupings of their ilk has now revealed itself for all to see. No one can any longer harbour any illusions that they are some modern day manifestation of true khilafate, some shining example of correct Islamic governance. They are revealed for what they are – simply another manifestation of one of the most divisive and destructive groups that ever appeared in Muslim history – the khawarij. This word ‘khawarij’ is an Arabic word meaning “those who have gone out”, and was originally used to describe a group who left the main body of the Muslims and adopted an extreme and deviated position during the time of the Khilafate of Sayyidina Ali ibn abi Talib. This happened after the battle of Siffin, the battle between Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidina Mu’awiya. The conflict had been going on for some time with no resolution in sight, so the two groups agreed upon arbitration, with Abu Musa al-Ash’ari representing Ali and Amr ibn al-As representing Mu’awiya. But a number of men who had allied themselves with Ali in the battle objected to this step and approached him and said to him,

لا حكم إلا لله

“No one can judge but Allah.” And they quoted Allah’s Words,

 

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلهِ يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَاصِلِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “Judgement over it belongs to Allah alone. He tells the truth and He is the Best of Deciders.” So Ali pointed out that arbitration was a practice of the Prophet, for he had appointed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh to arbitrate between the Muslims and the Banu Quraydha in Madina. But they were not prepared to listen, and instead called him a sinner and a kafir, for in their view whatever they consider a major wrong action takes a person out of Islam. Takfir is one of their defining characteristics, as is intractability, for they do not consider right to lie with anyone but themselves, not even with the Messenger of Allah himself. In a hadith from Abu Saeed al-Khudri, he relates that one time when the Prophet was distributing the spoils of war, a man called Ibn Dhil-Khuwaysira from the Banu Tamim approached him and told him, ‘Be Just!’, insinuating that the Messenger of Allah was being unjust. This same man became one of the leaders of the khawarij and one of their most vehement proponents. They were fought and killed by Sayyidina Ali ibn abi Talib at Nahrawan. But a small number of them remained and they met together in Kufa and make a pact to assassinate Sayyidina Ali, Sayyidina Amr ibn al-As and Sayyidina Muawiya. They succeeded in the case of Ali, but failed with the other two. Thus, the original khawarij considered all Muslims who disagreed with their world view to be valid targets. And the modern-day version clearly have the same view. May Allah protect us from them and those who side with them.

 

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.

 

There are two dangers posed to the Muslims by these modern-day khariji groupings, a physical one in that we are apparently the sole targets of their attacks, and an intellectual one in that we fall for their lies and find ourselves seduced by their rhetoric and apparent success in standing up to the dominant world powers of this modern age. They are very persuasive, just like the original khawarij, projecting an aura of piety and absolute unquestioning adherence to the central tenets of the Deen. Even in an age of substance, knowledge and purpose, their approach found success, with the original khawarij persuading many thousands to join their ranks, so it is little surprise that the modern day iterations have such success in their recruitment today. In an age of emptiness, their teaching seemingly fills a void for many lost souls and directionless young men and women. But it is they who are truly empty, their teachings which are in reality without substance. The Prophet said about a man who would later be ranked among the khawarij,

 

إن له أصحاباً يحقر أحدكم صلاته مع صلاتهم وصيامه مع صيامهم يقرأون القرآن لا يجاوز تراقيهم يمرقون من الدين كما يمرق السهم من الرمية ينظر إلى نصله فلا يوجد فيه شئ ثم ينظر إلى رصافه فما يوجد فيه شئ ثم ينظر إلى نضيّه وهو قدحه فلا يوجد فيه شئ ثم ينظر إلى قذذه فلا يوجد فيه شئ قد سبق الفرث والدم

 

“He has companions against whose prayer and fast any of you would consider his own prayer and his own fast insignificant. They recite Qur’an but it does not pass beyond their collarbones. They pass through the deen as an arrow passes through its prey. And if anyone were to look at the head of the arrow or its fastening or its shaft or its feathers, they would find nothing sticking to it, not one trace of the animal’s excrement or blood.” What they have and what they espouse has nothing whatsoever to do with this great deen. It is as far from this deen as the teachings of any of its traditional enemies. Sayyidina Ali famously said to one their leaders, Hurqus,

“Your kind, Hurqus, are the kind that Allah refers to in the Quran where He says,

 

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا

 

“Say, ‘Shall we inform you of the greatest losers in their actions? People whose efforts in this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.’” You, Hurqus, and I swear this by the name of the Lord of the Ka’ba, you will be amongst them!”

The dangers posed by these groups are very real and we need to protect ourselves and protect those parts of our communities that are most in danger, our disaffected youth. And the only ways to do that are to remove the causes of that disaffection – ignorance and the feelings of isolation and loneliness.

For knowledge of the deen is the surest protection against what is in reality pure ignorance and lack of understanding. Sayyidina Ali was able to persuade a huge segment of the khawarij to return to the sirat al-mustaqim with but a single talk, as was Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. Those most attracted to these groups are those most ignorant of their deen – it has been reported that when a few British Muslim extremists were apprehended in their attempt to get to Syria, “Islam for Dummies” was among the books found in their possession. Even those of them who project the most outwardly Islamic look, with their thawbs, short trousers and long beards, know little to nothing of the deen they claim to practice, being unable to tell the difference between what is obligatory and what is not. With such a little sound education, they would be inoculated against extremist tendencies and ideologies. The people of knowledge have a tremendous responsibility. The boundaries and limits of this deen must be made clear for all to see.

As for the second protection, company, by it I mean company of the right-acting believers, for that is the only company that counts. Jama‘at. We are drawn to company, and if we do not have it, we will be drawn to the invitation of any misguided grouping that crosses our path. True community is only possible for those who are united by love of Allah and His Messenger, and who have some sort of social structure. Thus was the example of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions. They never left the community without direction and leadership. For any Muslim community to truly be a single body, it must have a head, and that is the purpose of amirate. And it must have the means of engaging the youth, and should not shove them to one side in favour of maintaining some sort of hierarchy of elders that happens in too many of our places and institutions. The youth are our future, but in order for that future to be strong and healthy, they need to be nurtured and included in our present. Otherwise we will lose them. We ask Allah to protect our communities and protect our youth, and safeguard the future of this glorious deen by means of them. And we ask that He foil the plots and machinations of our enemies, those from within and those from without, and give victory to His deen.

 

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.