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RESPITE AS A WAY OF ALLAH FOR DESTROYING THE TYRANTS

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIRST SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF JUMAADAL ULA,

DATED: 3RDTH JUMAADAL ULA, 1445AH (17TH NOV., 2023CE)

TITLED: RESPITE, AS A WAY OF ALLAH FOR DESTROYING THE TYRANTS

FIRST SERMON

Allah praises are due to Allah, to Him are all affairs directed, and the eternal control of affairs is in His hand. I praise Him, Glory be to Him, and I thank Him. He has spread His grace and benevolence to all creation, and He has extended His pardon and forgiveness to the sinners. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, without partner. His status is great, His authority is exalted, His praise is exalted, and His names are sanctified. And I bear witness that our Master and Prophet, Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. His Lord sent him as a guide, giver of glad tidings, and a warner. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, his family, his good pious companions, and their followers and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

As to what follows:

Dear Servants of Allah, I admonish you and myself to fear Allah, the Exalted, inwardly and outwardly, in accordance with the His Exalted saying: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ‌إِنْ ‌تَتَّقُوا ‌اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقاناً وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ) “O you who have believed, if you fear Allāh, He will grant you a criterion and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allāh is the possessor of great bounty.” [Al-Anfal: 29].

Dear brothers in faith, the topic of our sermon today shall centre on: RESPITE, AS A WAY OF ALLAH FOR DESTROYING THE TYRANTS.

Dear Servants of Allah, no matter how long the night of injustice lasts, no matter how much tyranny increases, no matter how arrogant and oppressive a person is, no matter how oppressive, transgressing, and enslaving he is to the people around him with his wealth, power, authority, cruelty and tyranny, the dawn of freedom and the light of justice must come to dispel those darknesses.

Allah Almighty says in His Noble Book: (كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَى(6) أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَى(7) إِنَّ إِلَى رَبِّكَ الرُّجْعَى) “No! Indeed, man transgresses (6) Because he sees himself self-sufficient (7) Indeed, to your Lord is the return (8)” (Al-‘Alaq 96). Although these verses were revealed regarding Abu Jahl, it is evident in history that there were tyrants before him who were even more oppressive. In the modern era, we still witness tyrants who have exceeded the limits of oppression, spreading corruption on earth. In today’s sermon, we will highlight some examples from the Quran regarding tyrants, their characteristics, and we will share some of Allah’s way with the oppressors.

Firstly, the meaning of tyranny:

Tyranny, in its general sense, refers to exceeding the limits in injustice. In the Quran, tyranny is mentioned with three meanings:

Firstly, deviation, as Allah says: (اللّهُ يَسْتَهْزِىءُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ) “Allah mocks them and prolongs them in their transgression while they wander blindly.” (Al-Baqarah 2:15).

– Secondly, disobedience, as Allah says: (اذْهَبْ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى) “Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed.” (Taha 20:24), meaning he has disobeyed Allah.

– Thirdly, elevation and abundance, as Allah says: (إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ) “Indeed, when the water overflowed, We carried your ancestors in the sailing ship.” (Al-Haaqqa 69:11), indicating elevation and abundance.

Secondly, examples of tyrants in the Quran:

1- Namrood (Nimrod): He claimed divinity on Earth and believed himself to be a god. Allah says about him: (أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِي حَآجَّ   إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي رِبِّهِ أَنْ آتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِي يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِـي وَأُمِيتُ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ) “Have you not considered the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord [merely] because Allah had given him kingship? When Abraham said, ‘My Lord is the one who gives life and causes death,’ he said, ‘I give life and cause death.’ Abraham said, ‘Indeed, Allah brings up the sun from the east, so bring it up from the west.’ So, the disbeliever was overwhelmed [by astonishment], and Allah does not guide the wrongdoers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:258).

2- Qarun: Allah granted him wealth, but he became arrogant and oppressive. Allah caused the earth to swallow him and his home.

3- Pharaoh: When speaking of oppression and tyranny, the first figure that comes to mind is Pharaoh. Allah says to Moses: (اذْهَبْ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى) “Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed.” (An-Nazi’at 79:17). Allah details the story of his tyranny and corruption on earth, becoming an example for all tyrants until the last day of this life.

Allah, the Almighty says: (إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعاً يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ) “Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters. (Al-Qasas: 4) Pharaoh and his soldiers lived a long life in which there was injustice, enslavement, and deprivation in all its forms, until Pharaoh said in arrogance and arrogance: (يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرِي فَأَوْقِدْ لِي يَا هَامَانُ عَلَى الطِّينِ فَاجْعَلْ لِي صَرْحًا لَعَلِّي أَطَّلِعُ إِلَى إِلَهِ مُوسَى وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّهُ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ) And Pharaoh said, “O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me. Then ignite for me, O Hāmān, [a fire] upon the clay and make for me a tower that I may look at the God of Moses. And indeed, I do think he is among the liars.” ” (Al-Qasas: 38) And he used to call out:( ياقَوْمِ أَلَيْسَ لِي مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَذِهِ الأَنْهَارُ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِي أَفَلاَ تُبْصِرُونَ) O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see?” (Al-Zukhruf: 51) And he used to say: (مَا أُرِيكُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَرَى وَمَا أَهْدِيكُمْ إِلاَّ سَبِيلَ الرَّشَاد) ““I do not show you except what I see, and I do not guide you except to the way of right conduct.”:

Thirdly: Images of Pharaoh’s Tyranny and Corruption on Earth:

1- He claimed divinity for himself: Allah, speaking through Pharaoh to his people, says: (مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرِي) ‘I don’t know any god for you other than me.’ (Qasas 32:38).

2- Arrogance of Pharaoh and his soldiers on the earth without justification: Allah says: (وَاسْتَكْبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُودُهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا يُرْجَعُونَ) “Pharaoh and his soldiers were arrogant on land without right, and they thought that they would not be returned to Us.’ (Qasas 28:33).

3- Killing of children and humiliation of women: Allah says: (وَقَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَونَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَآلِهَتَكَ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَاءهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِـي نِسَاءهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ) ‘And the eminent among the people of Pharaoh said, ‘Will you leave Moses and his people to cause corruption on the land and abandon you and your gods?’ Pharaoh said, ‘We will kill their sons and keep their women alive, and indeed, we are subjectors over them.'” (Qasas 28:127).

4- He created division among the peoplet: Allah says: (إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ) ‘Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself on the land and made its people into sects, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters.’ (Qasas 28:4).

5- Corruption in the land: Allah says: (وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ(10) الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ(11) فَأَكْثَرُوا فِيهَا الْفَسَادَ) ‘And [with] Pharaoh, owner of the stakes, [All of] whom were tyrannical within the land. And increased the corruption therein) (Al-Fajr:10-11).

Fourthly, Allah’s norm with tyrants:

1- Gentle words: Allah sends messengers with gentle words. Allah instructed Moses and Aaron: (فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى) “And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].” (Ta-Ha 20:44).

2- Respite: Allah delays the punishment, as stated in the Quran: (وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَابَّةٍ وَلَكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ بَصِيرًا) “If Allah were to impose blame upon the people for their wrongdoing, He would not have left upon the earth any creature, but He defers them for a specified term. But when their time comes, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].” (Fatir 35:45). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said: “Indeed, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, grants respite to the oppressor, but when He seizes him, He does not let him escape, and then he recited: ‘Such is the chastisement of your Lord when He chastises the towns while they are doing wrong. Surely, His chastisement is painful, severe.'” (Muslim).

3- Warning: Allah sends various signs as warnings. Allah says: (فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ آيَاتٍ مُفَصَّلَاتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا وَكَانُوا قَوْمًا مُجْرِمِينَ) “So We sent upon them the flood, locusts, lice, frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people.” (Al-A’raf:133).

4- Destruction: Allah’s punishment descends upon tyrants. Allah says: (وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ. الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ. فَأَكْثَرُوا فِيهَا الْفَسَادَ. فَصَبَّ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ سَوْطَ عَذَابٍ. إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ) “Pharaoh, the possessor of stakes – [All] who were tyrannical within the lands. And increased therein the corruption. So, your Lord poured upon them a scourge of punishment. Indeed, your Lord is in observation.” (Al-Fajr:10-14).

 A Snapshot of the Tyrants of the Era:

The behavior of today’s tyrants, whether in the East or the West, follows the same patterns and methodologies employed by tyrants in previous history. What contemporary tyrants are doing against our civilian brothers and sisters in Gaza and Palestine is a reflection of the tyranny that happened by Pharaoh in ancient times. They have devided the people of Palestine as cities and villages, imprisoning landowners daily, including young girls, children, women, and youth. They engage in a policy of genocide against the Palestinian people, implementing a scorched-earth policy against innocent civilians, women, and children. Real videos and reels do not lie. They destroy homes, including those housing women, children, and the elderly. The entire world, both East and West, is complicit in a crime unprecedented in both modern and ancient history.”

In conclusion:

1- Any nation or individual that transgresses, like the people of ‘Ad, Thamud, Pharaoh, and the people of Lot, will face the consequences of tyranny. Allah says: (وإن للطاغين لشر مئاب) “And indeed, for the wrongdoers is a bad place of return.” (Ash-Shu’ara 26:227).

2- Why does Allah give respite to the oppressors? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained: “Indeed, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, grants respite to the oppressor, but when He seizes him, He does not let him escape.” (Muslim). Allah says: (وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَابَّةٍ وَلَكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ بَصِيرًا) “And if Allāh were to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon it [i.e., the earth] any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allāh has ever been, of His servants, Seeing.” (Al-Fatir: 45). Allah delays their punishment to distinguish between good and evil, to complete the triumph of the oppressed, and to give people the chance to refrain from injustice, not out of fear but as an opportunity to establish justice.

SECOND SERMON:

All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, who says in His great perfect criterion: (وَلَنْ تَرْضَى عَنْكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ) “And never will the Jews and the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allāh is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allāh no protector or helper. (Al-Baqarah: 120) We praise Him. Glory be to Him, the Exalted. We thank Him, we believe in Him, and we rely on Him. We beseech blessings and peace upon the best of Allah’s creation, our leader and Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Recompense.

Al-Walaa’ and Al-Baraa’ (loyalty and disavowal):

In explaining the importance of this doctrine, Abu al-Wafa bin Aqeel said: “If you want to know the state of Islam among a people of an era, never look at their crowding at the doors of the mosques, nor their shouting of Labayka (I hearken to your) at the (pilgrimage) stations, but rather look at their relationship with the enemies of the Sharia. Ibn al-Rawandi. and Abul Alaa, Al-Ma’arri – may Allah’s curse be upon them – organized and spread disbelief… they lived for years, their graves were venerated, their books were bought, and this indicates the level of coldness of the religion in the heart.”

Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Is the religion perfected or is the knowledge of jihad established, or the knowledge of enjoining good and forbidding evil established except based on loving for the sake of Allah and displeasure for the sake of Allah… even if people agreed on one path and love without enmity, that cannot be the criterion to identify between the truth and the falsehood, nor the believers and non-believers, nor between the allies of The Beneficent and the allies of Shaytaan.”

The Prophet – peace be upon him – used to take pledge of allegiance from his companions on fulfilling this great principle. He used to say to some of them: (I take pledge of allegiance from you that you will worship Allah, establish prayer, pay zakat, give mutual advise to the Muslims, and dissociate from the polytheists) Narrated by Al-Nasa’i and Ahmad.

The believer’s loyalty to his brother has many forms, including the following:

1- Loyalty of affection and love: This means that the Muslim should accord high level of love and honour to his Muslim brother, he should not plot against him, nor attack or deceive him. Rather, he should protect him from everything that he protects himself from, and repel all forms of evils from him aimed at him. He also loves for him all forms of goodness he loves for himself. The Prophet- peace be upon him- said: “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”. (narrated by Muslim)

2- Loyalty of support and solidarity: This is in the event that injustice or oppression befalls a Muslim. The obligation of loyalty requires the Muslim to stand by his Muslim brother, defend him from injustice, and remove tyranny from him. Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”

That is, prevent him from committing injustice. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari). With this loyalty, Allah, the Almighty bequeaths self-protection to the Muslim community, which prevents the outbreak of hostilities among its members, and prompts them all to defend their sanctities and privacies.

3- Advising them and having compassion for them: Jarir bin ‘Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I made my covenant with Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on the observance of Salat, payment of Zakat, and giving sincere counsel to Muslim.” Agreed upon.

This is in terms of the relationship between one part of the the Ummah to another, which is determined by the obligation of loyalty (Al-Walaa). As for the relationship of the Muslim nation or society with other non-believer societies, what determines it is the obligation of disavowal (Al-baraa), Allah, Almighty has obligated the Ummah to disavow disbelief and its people, in order to preserve the cultural, political and social unity of the Muslim Ummah, and He, Glory be to Him, has made absolute allegiance to the disbelivers an act of deviation from the religion and turning away from the path of the believers. Allah Almighty says: (لا يتخذ المؤمنون الكافرين أولياء من دون المؤمنين ومن يفعل ذلك فليس من الله في شيء إلا أن تتقوا منهم تقاة ويحذركم الله نفسه وإلى الله المصير) “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies [i.e., supporters or protectors] rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing [i.e., no association] with Allāh, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.[And Allāh warns you of Himself, and to Allāh is the [final] destination.” (Al Imran: 28). It is thus as if by being allied with the unbelievers, he has severed all ties between him and Allah, he no more of Allah in any way.

Islam’s prohibition of all forms of subordination to unbelievers does not mean that it is forbidden to benefit from their expertise and experiences. Not at all, wisdom is the lost property of a believer, wherever he finds it, he is the most deserving of it. But what is intended and required is for the Muslim to maintain his complete independence, so that he does not submit to an unbeliever, and his loyalty is only to Allah, His Messenger, and the believers.

Supplication: O Allah, never allow a banner to be raised for the Jews in Jerusalem, and never allow them to achieve any goal in Gaza. O Allah, help the people of Jerusalem, the people of Gaza, and the people of Palestine. O Allah, strengthen them, O Allah strengthen their hearts. O Allah, spread tranquility in their hearts. O Allah, send them warmth, peace, security and safety. O Allah, accept their martyrs and heal the sick. O Allah, have mercy on the bereaved mothers and widows. O Allah, have mercy on the elderly who bow in (prayers), the suckling infants, and the young who prostrate. O Allah, deal with the aggressing Zionists and those who supported and helped them. O Allah scatter their togetherness, scatter their power, and divide their unity.

O Allah, show us in them the effects and wonders of your power. O Allah, tear them apart in the most devastating manner, O Lord of the Worlds. O Allah, surround them in their numbers and destroy them as a swarm, and do not leave out anyone of them. O Allah, never allow a banner to be raised for the Jews in Jerusalem, and never allow them to achieve any goal in Gaza. O Allah, grant us happiness with the victory of our brothers over our enemy and their enemy. O Allah, we are in dire need of your mercy and help, eventhough we are unable to physically participate with them, then accept our prayers for their victory, O Allah, our Lord, we trust in You, and we hope for Your help, and we turn to Your door, so do not disappoint us. O Allah, grant us victory, O Allah grant us victory, O Allah grant us victory. O Allah, accept their martyrs, grant victory to their armies, heal their sick, heal their wounded, replace their fear with security, their hardship with ease, their distress with relief, and their patience with victory, O Mighty, O Powerful, O Possessor of enduring power, O Possessor of majesty and honor.

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet, our Master Muhammad, his family and companions. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

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