لحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي سهّل للإنسان سبل السلام، وحذّره من سبل الشيطان، 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.

 

There are two terms that are mentioned again and again in modernist Islamic discourse, and indeed in contemporary discourse in general, and they are discrimination and tolerance. One is viewed in a negative light and the other in a positive one, but things are not so clear-cut as they have been made to seem. Discrimination is not always evil and tolerance is not always good. In fact, they are two sides to the same coin and complement each other.

Let us first look at discrimination. There is no doubt that in the modern world ‘discrimination’ has become word filled with all manner of negative connotation – it evokes thoughts of racism, sexism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia. Indeed, the first definition one finds for the word in the English dictionary is, ‘the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.’

Some take this even further, and claim that there are no valid grounds for discrimination apart from those based on knowledge and skill. And on the basis of that have used it as a stick with which to beat our religion. Islam’s laws are barbaric and outdated, they say, for they discriminate against women and other religions. And many modernists concur, consigning all such apparently discriminatory laws to the rubbish bin of history, and turning instead to what they see as being the deen’s core values – love, peace and tolerance. But they often misrepresent these values, especially that of tolerance, as we shall see, and forget one important value, that of furqan.

furqan is one of the main values that underpin this deen. It was on the basis of his embodiment of this value that the Messenger of Allah chose to honour Umar ibn al-Khattab, bestowing upon him the title al-Faaruq. So what is this furqan? furqan is discrimination, discrimination on the basis of alhaqq and al-batil, being able to distinguish right from wrong and act accordingly.

How does one know what is right from wrong? Is it through one’s own intuition? Is it through some universal set of rules defined and codified by men, such as the declaration of human rights? Is it through what secular society deems as right and appropriate? No is the answer to all these questions, it is only by the guidance of Allah, and the laws and prohibitions that are found in His Books. Indeed, al-Furqan is one of the names of the Book of Allah. Allah says,

تَبَارَكَ الذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

 

the translation of which is, “Blessed be the One who sent down the Furqan to His slave, so that he could be a warner to all the worlds.” Thus, furqan is the heart of the message brought by our Prophet and essential to it.

We cannot abandon the Words of Allah, the laws of Allah, on the basis of some man-made doctrine. We must always keep within the clearly-defined parameters He has set us. We must have furqan – the lines we draw cannot be blurred and indistinct, they cannot be drawn in the sand. In our reaction against the extremist mindset, we cannot fall into the trap of accepting what is hateful to Allah.

Then there is tolerance. This concept is almost as much misunderstood as that of discrimination, for there is a difference between the largely neutral term ‘tolerance’ and the heavily-loaded ‘tolérance’, between accepting that there will always be people in our societies who reject the teachings of the Messenger, and accepting the positions of those people as being in some way valid.

We tolerate their existence and do not try to force them to abandon their beliefs. We give them the call and ten let them get on with whatever they want to get on with. If they choose not to heed the call, that is between them and their Lord. Allah says,

 

لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

 

the translation of which is, “There is no compulsion in the deen.” And indeed, we even undertake to protect them and their families and their property if they enter into a contract with us, but we never tolerate their beliefs or the open propagation of those beliefs. We, and by we I mean the Muslims, never declare those beliefs or the way of life that those beliefs underpin to be valid. To do so is to disregard the Words of Allah and the example of His Prophet. Allah says,

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللهِ الْإِسْلَامُ

 

the translation of which is, “The only deen with Allah is Islam.” And He says,

 

وَمَنْ يَّبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِيناً فَلَنْ يُّقْبَلَ مِنْهُ

 

the translation of which is, “If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a deen, it will not be accepted from him.” But an increasing amount of so-called Islamic thinkers and academics have started to talk of these other deens as being somehow valid, in the last few centuries but even more so in the last few years. The interfaith tendency within the Muslim community is becoming stronger and stronger, partly in response to the horrific excesses of the extremists, and more and more of our scholars are jumping on board. The idea of communicating with other religions is no inherently when society is set up in the correct way. Indeed, the Messenger of Allah allowed them participation in Madina in the famous Charter of Madina, but the Muslims then were in a position of strength. It was not on the basis of a meeting of equals, where everyone’s opinions are equally valid, nor on the basis of a position of weakness where the opinion’s of the Muslims is consider of lesser importance. No, just dialogue has only ever been permitted from a position of strength, when the deen is uppermost in the land and the muslims hold all the aces.

That is not how it is with the majority of interfaith initiatives. Those who become party to such forums often forget the basic fundamental of the deen we mentioned earlier, ‘furqan’, differentiating between haqq and batil, haqq being iman and batil being kufr. Iman is dependent upon two statements: Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-llah and Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu-llah. The one is not complete without the other. Someone who does not believe in the Messenger of Allah is not a believer. Christians and Jews may be people of the Book, but they are not fellow people of faith, they are not fellow believers. They are as much an unbeliever as those who simply deny Allah. In the eyes of the law, there may be a difference in how people of the Book and idolators are treated, but in the eyes of Allah and in terms of their destination in the Next World, they all fall under the category of unbelievers. Allah says,

لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ

 

the translation of which is, “They are unbelievers – those who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.” And the Prophet said,

 

والذي نفس محمد بيده لا يسمع بي أحد من هذه الأمة يهودي ولا نصراني ثم يموت ولم يؤمن بالذي أرسلت به إلا كان من أصحاب النار

 

“By the One in whose hand lies the soul of Muhammad, any one of this umma who hears of me, whether he be Jew or Christian, and then dies without believing in that with which I have been sent, that person will be one of the inhabitants of the Fire.” And Imam an-Nawawi went further saying,

“Someone who does not believe that whoever follows another religion besides Islam is an unbeliever, or doubts that such a person is an unbeliever, or considers their sect to be valid, is himself an unbeliever (kafir) even if he manifests Islam and believes in it.” In other words, the acceptance of kufr leads to kufr. Tolérance, perennialism, the doctrine of the brotherhood of man – they are not harmless philosophies, but rather are poisons that kill the heart and take the person away from Allah. If the heart of the mumin does not despise kufr, then kufr will find a corner in which to reside and grow and grow until it is all that remains. This is why Allah describes the only ones who are rightly-guided as being those whom,

 

اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ

 

the translation of which is, “Allah has given you love of iman and made it pleasing to your hearts, and has made kufr, deviance and disobedience hateful to you.” We ask that Allah grant us those characteristics of love of iman and safeguard our hearts from condoning any form of kufr or disobedience to Him.

 

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.

 

It is vitally important to know that rejecting the beliefs of the people of the Book, and indeed those of any other people, does not mean maltreating them. On the contrary, when we enter into treaties with them and when they fulfil their contract with us, we are commanded to treat them well. It is the way of our rasul and the way of our Messenger to uplift people and to show them the best of ourselves. We do not go about the land abusing them, murdering them and taking them prisoner. That is not our way, and those extremists are in no way a representation of who we are. We wash our hands of them, so please do not misconstrue what I say.

In the first khutba, we mentioned that modernist Islamic discourse has largely fallen in line with contemporary humanist discourse, and it seems as if there are many commonalities, many ‘shared’ values. But those so-called commonalities and shared values are nothing of the sort. Yes, they may share the same names: justice, tolerance, equality, freedom, but their meanings are as different as could possibly be. For one is based on a milla that makes man the sole arbiter of all affairs while the other milla ascribes all power to Allah. Islam and modern-day doctrines and beliefs are completely incompatible.

For example, when we talk of brotherhood, we consider the only thing aside from blood to create a bond of brotherhood to be belief. Allah says,

إِنَّمَا الْمُومِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ

 

the translation of which is, “The believers are brothers.” As for the brotherhood of man, how can that be when some are as angels in the eyes of Allah, and others lower than the Shayatin and even than livestock. Allah says about those who are misguided,

 

أُولَئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ

 

the translation of which is, “They are like cattle, rather they are even further astray.”  And no human being considers himself to be at the same level as the cows in his fields.

When we talk about equality, we talk about equality before the law. In other words, no matter a person’s social position, he is tried in the same way before the judge and receives the appropriate punishment for the crime. Sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab had his own son flogged for drinking. But we do not mean that each person’s opinion is equally valid or each person’s religion. In our societies, it is not wealth that gives a person superiority to another as it is in modern societies, but belief in Allah and His Messenger. Allah says,

 

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللهِ أَتْقَاكِمِ

 

the translation of which is, “The most noble of you in the eyes of Allah are those with the most taqwa.”

Similarly, equality does not mean being the same. Men and women have different roles in society and different duties and rights. Some modernists, in their eagerness to make Islam pleasing to their non-Muslim overlords, have claimed that Islam came to abolish polygamy, and have brushed over other rulings relating to witnessing and even the laws of inheritance. By doing so, they have invented their own deen. Allah says,

 

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنَ اَمْوَالِهِمْ

 

the translation of which is, “Men are qawwam over women because Allah has preferred the one above the other and because they spend their wealth on them.” Women have no financial responsibilities – they all devolve on the men, either their husbands or fathers, and in exchange leadership is left in the hands of men. They are different – not the same, and it is an unhealthy society that seeks to turn men into women and women into men. Indeed, it was one of the hallmarks of Pharaonic society. Allah says that Fir‘awn,

 

يَقْتُلُ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَكُمْ

 

the translation of which is, “He killed your sons and left your women alive.” This obviously means that he killed the males and let the females live, but can also be understood in its metaphoric sense that he pushed the men in the society down and put the women over them, bringing about the destruction of his society.

Then there is the concept of liberty. Modern society grants people the freedom to do things which are considered crimes in the eyes of Allah, such as fornication, riba and insulting the Prophet, while taking away their basic freedom to earn a living by making it illegal to sell produce on the street, or take fish from the sea without a license. And even the freedom and basic right to have water to drink is being eroded and slowly taken away, as is happening inexorably here in Cape Town. The Spanish experience is even worse – a person is not free to use solar panels on his own property to meet his electrical needs, but must plug into the state, and nor is he even free to take water from wells on his own land – instead he has to pay the water companies for that privilege.

Not one of these values as understood by secular society is compatible with the great deen of Allah, and not one of these values brings any benefit to the human being. So to try and reform and reimagine our deen to come in line with them is ignorant and shortsighted in the extreme, and far from strengthening our position in society, weakens it immeasurably. If we want success, both for us and the rest of mankind, it is us who need to be teaching our values, and I use the term ‘values’ only because it is the language they understand, the word ‘teachings’ would be more appropriate – it is us who need to be teaching our teachings to those around us, not letting them dictate to us and force their values down our throats.  They are falling into a deep abyss and are trying to pull us down with them. You must hold your ground and instead try to help them up and out. Be proud of the values of the deen and the teachings of the Messenger, not ashamed. Demonstrate them to the world, do not hide them. We are part of the best umma ever placed on this earth, never forget that. The answers to all our problems and the problems of the peoples of this planet lie with us.

We ask Allah to remind us of who we are and what He has given us. We ask Him to make our deen uppermost in the land and our milla the one that governs the affairs of people, and bring down the milla of kufr. We ask Allah to guide us and guide by us, to make us strong and wise and join our hearts together in true brotherhood.

 

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