28th Rabiul Akhir 1443 AH
(3rd December 2021 CE)
BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RABI’UL AAKHIR DATED 28TH RABI’UL AKHIR 1443AH (3RD DECEMBER, 2021)
THE COMPONENT PARTS OF ISLAMIC UNITY
All Praises belong to the One who said in His Glorious Book, and He is the Most Truthful: “And hold fast to the rope of Allah, all together, and do not become divided….” (Aal-Imran:103). I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone without partner, His is the Sovereign and to Him belong all Praise. He gives life and takes it, and He lives and never dies. Authority and Sovereignty belongs to Him and He has Power over all things, I bear witness also that our Prophet and Leader Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. With his Message, Allah opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and sealed hearts. O Allah, make us live according to his Sunnah, and make us die on his path, and resurrect us among his party alongside those on whom You have bestowed favors from among the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. And these are the most excellent companions.
Thereafter… I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. Allah has commanded so in His Guarded Revelation when He says: “O you who have believed, fear Allah as you should fear Him, and do not die except as Muslims” (Aal-Imran:102)
Dear listeners, we talked in the last sermon about the necessity of the inevitability of Islamic unity and its importance in our present time, but there are certain components that must be present to achieve this desired unity, and it is what our sermon today will focus on, in-shaa-Allah.
Perhaps when we talk about unity, harmony, cooperation, coming together and love, all of these seem like psychological ideas, but the verse of Aal-Imran and the ahadith of the Prophet (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) translated all these psychological ideas into what can actually be sensed, so as to emphasize this coming together and make it firm, such that it is as if you can see it with your eyes. And this is a scale and a measure by which we measure and weigh our unity, with the scale of these texts, and any gap in our unity is traceable back to gaps in our faith and our mind collectively.
THE COMPONENT PARTS OF ISLAMIC UNITY
Islamic unity is not a slogan that is only chanted in gatherings, meetings and conferences. Rather, it is a procedure/method and a culture that is based on certain clear foundations, including the following:
The understanding that Muslims no matter how far apart their countries may be and no matter how far their borders separate them , they are all brothers in religion, and this brotherhood is what Allah reminded them repeatedly. In suratul Baqarah: "O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.1 But whoever overlooks from his brother [i.e., the killer] anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him [i.e., the deceased's heir or legal representative] with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that3 will have a painful punishment. (178) "; and in Surah Al-Imran:" And hold firmly to the rope1 of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. (103) ".
And in suratul Hujuraat: "The believers are brothers, so make peace between your two brothers and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.”(10).
Perhaps you will notice that these verses mention the brotherhood of religion in the context of talking about retribution, enmities and rivalries, and in this is evidence that the rights of brothers are most apparent in advocating their rights in times of crises, disagreements, distress and adversity, and if the Lord Almighty commanded us to observe the rights of brotherhood in a time of disagreements and disputes, what should then stop us in times of agreement and a consensus of words and serenity.
Harmony among Muslims: Its meanings include closeness, mingling, making amends, psychological and emotional cohesion between Muslims and each other, and perhaps we know certainly that the true strength of Muslims lies in their bonding together and being closely knit together, Allah Almighty said in Suratul Al-Anfal: And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war1 by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. (60) And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing. (61) But if they intend to deceive you – then sufficient for you is Allah. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers (62) And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise. (63) O Prophet, sufficient for you is Allah and for whoever follows you of the believers.”(64).
We must stop and consider these verses carefully. First came the talk about the strength that Allah commanded us to prepare, as much as possible. Then after that came the talk about the believers and their bonding together. And it is the evidence that the real strength of Muslims is not only in the strength of weapons and shooting, but rather from the meanings of the verses and their sequence, we understand that the strength of the Muslims is in their bonding together and unity.
The verses also guide us that this bonding is the doing of Allah Almighty with His Wisdom and Power, and that the bonding of Muslims is neither easy nor trivial. It’s rather why Allah Ta’alah said: “If you spent all that is on the earth, you would not bring their their hearts.” If the Messenger of Allah (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) did not have the ability to gather all the diverse people, so what more others than him?
Perhaps this explains to us and makes it clear that all the organizations, councils, alliances and slogans that Muslims hold together, all of this has only increased us in disunity, fragmentation and weakness, because we are seeking something that our organizations and alliances cannot do. It is indeed bonding that is one of the prerogatives of Allah Ta’alah: “…But Allah united them…”
The psychological, emotional, and sentimental blending that brings together the meaning of bonding is quite similar to the components (cement) of water, sand and earth, which are combined and mixed in a certain way, manner and method with stone and bricks, in order to build the fortified building that stands in the face of the mishaps and all manners of occurrences.
And even more than that, how beautiful is this analogy between the bonding here that unites the entire Ummah, and the building materials, bricks and mortar that make up a building, and this is exactly what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) mentioned: “The Muslim to the Muslim is like a building, one part of which is strengthens the other.” Then does this building not need someone/something to hold its rooms together?, This is how bonding (of the heart) draws the believers and brings them together. So do not busy yourselves with slogans, but busy yourselves with what pleases Allah and gather the diverse parts until Allah makes bonds among the muslims.
Warning against separation and division: The separation here does not mean the geographical separation and difference of language, rather it is the division of hearts and their separation, and the division of the Ummah. And Allah Ta’alah has warned us about that, when He said: “Do not be like those who fell into factions and differed among themselves1 after clear signs had come to them. A mighty chastisement awaits them.” (Aal-Imran 105), and the Almighty said in Suratul Al-Anfal: "Obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel, lest you fail and your wind would depart, and be patient, for Allah is with the patient." (Al-Anfal 46), and you can look at the expression that the “wind would depart”, and it is the last thing that goes away from a person after his departure. And so, when the Muslims left their homes and mosques, which are the remnants of their “wind” in Andalusia, it became what is became, and this is the going away of the wind from the homes.
Praise be to Allah who mankind out of their mothers’ wombs as free born. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master Muhammad, his family and companions.
Know, O Muslims, that today, Monday, December 2, the world celebrates the anniversary of the liberation of souls, the abolition of the slave trade and the prevention of trafficking in persons. The commemoration is an annual event on 2nd December which becomes the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. It is a day that recalls the United Nations Convention for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and the Exploitation of Others in Prostitution, No. 317 IV, issued on December 2, 1949 (International Day for the Abolition of Slavery)
There is no slavery in Islam (except for Allah). Islam has prohibited slavery from its two main sources:
As for the first source for slavery, which is aggression, Allah has forbidden it in the Qur’an in more than one place. Allah the Exalted said: (وَقَاتِلُوا فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ) “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors” (Baqarah: 190), and He also says: (فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ) “then there is to be no aggression [i.e., assault] except against the oppressors” (Baqarah: 193) He says as well: (فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ) “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” (Baqarah: 194), So, by forbidding and prohibiting aggression, the first chapter of the sources of slavery has been closed, so there is no fighting against those who do not attack us.
The second source, is that of solidarity and support in fighting and the taking of prisoners, Allah, the Exalted closed this part also, He says: (فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَناً بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّى تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ذَلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ) “So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure [their] bonds,1 and either [confer] favor2 afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens.3 That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.” (Muhammad: 4),
Here Allah made dealing with the prisoners of war between two matters without the third. The first matter is the act of kindness towards the prisoner of war by releasing him after the war is over. The second is to give opportunity to the prisoners of war to set themselves free with money or service. And it made kindness and magnanimity before ransom because of what it contains of good character, kindness, and a manifestation of the tolerance of the religion and the nobility of the cause Islam represents.
Someone will say: But the early predecessors took people captive and enslaved. We will reply that they did that according to the reality of their era and not following the teachings of their religion.
As for Islam, after stopping the sources of slavery and drying up its sources, it opened the doors of liberating the slaves in order for them to be set free in succession so that this would not affect society. It made the punishment for killing by error in its three conditions to be the freeing of slaves. Allah, the Exalted says: (وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَن يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِناً إِلَّا خَطَأً وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤْمِناً خَطَأً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ إِلَّا أَن يَصَّدَّقُوا فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَّكُمْ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً) “And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake – then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment [diyah] presented to his [i.e., the
deceased's] family [is required], unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if he [i.e., the deceased] was from a people at war with you and he was a believer – then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty – then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one
or cannot afford to buy one] – then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively,1 [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah.2 And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. (Nisaa: 92). It also made the penalty of breaking of one’s pledge or oath the freeing of slave. He says: (لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِى أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ذَلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ) " Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation2 is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] – then a fast of three days [is
required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths.3 Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses [i.e.,
revealed law] that you may be grateful. " (Maidah: 89)
Ending the sources with the opening of the doors to liberate the slaves is a consistent policy of Islam to liquidate the slave class without destroying the society, and Islam is not to be questioned about the actions of Muslims if they are not in accordance with its provisions, or if they are based on a wrong thought about Islam and the Qur’an