Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Name Yahya (Sura 19:7)


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

Another futile objection raised against the divine-authorship of the holy Quran is that it states that no one ever had the name of John (the Baptizer) before him:

يَا زَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَامٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا

“O Zechariah, verily We give you glad tidings of a boy whose name is Yahya. We have not assigned for anyone before (this) name.”

(Sura 19:7)

Yahya is identified as John the Baptizer. The name John is the Anglicization of the Hebrew name Yohanan. Yohanan or John was a common name before the birth of John the Baptizer, yet the Quran claims that no one bore that name before him? The truth is, however, that the name Yahya is a totally different name than Yohanan or John. In Arabic, Yohanan is Yuhana and not Yahya. The Islamic Awareness website has published a detailed and scholarly article answering this objection. In this entry I only wish to point to something that they oddly left out. According to the Gospel of Luke:

And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. (Luke 1:60-61)

According to the Quranic narrative, Allah says He never designated this name “Yahya” for anyone before the birth of this boy. This does not necessarily preclude that anyone bore that name before him, only that no one was directly named with it by Allah. The narrative of Luke seems to suggest that the priestly family of Zechariah named their sons with a very specific set of names, and it was their custom to avoid novel names that had no precedent among them. It suggests that they received such names through divine inspiration, and so when John the Baptizer was born, his name was novel in the sense that no one among his relatives had received it before.

I see that the Quran has given its own take on the naming of Yahya, by stating that it was his name “Yahya” and not “Yuhana” (Johanan/John) that was a new name that no one before ever had. The problem with the Gospel account is that the family of Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were both of the Aaronide priestly family (Luke 1:5), did have in their history individuals with the name Yohanan/John. For example, Johanan, son of Joiada, the fifth high priest of Israel after their restoration from the Babylonian exile. So the irony is that while certain Christian apologists attempt to impugn the Quran for its claim that no one had the name Yahya before the birth of Zechariah the priest’s son (John the Baptizer), their own scripture, the Gospel of Luke, states that no one in the priestly family of Zecharias and Elizabeth had the name John before the birth of their son, John the Baptizer, which is clearly an error.

Proto-Sufis Among the Salaf

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
والعاقبة للمتقين
The early, proto-Sufis were pious and devout worshipers among the Tabi’in. They were the students of the Sahabaرضى الله عنهم, and their tendency toward zuhd and emphasis on worship took particular hold over the town of Basra. These proto-Sufis were particularly attached to the likes of Hasan al-Basriرحمه الله and his spiritual successor, Abd ul-Wahid b. Zaydرحمه الله. Another early proto-Sufi was Farqad al-Sabakhiرحمه الله. He was an Armenian Christian who converted to Islam, then excelled in his new Religion in terms of piety and knowledge. The example of Farqad al-Sabakhiرحمه الله proves that the proto-Sufi tendency within early Islam, with its emphasis on worship, personal piety, and an ascetic lifestyle, was fueled by the conversion of Christians. Christianity, especially of that time and place, had a strong streak of asceticism within it. The Christian monks of yesterday became the Sufi saints of tomorrow. This was indeed one of the positive “imports” into the Islamic community which helped establish this great tendency and stream within our Religion. The Sahabaرضى الله عنهم did not object to the understanding and approach to Islam by these great proto-Sufis. Being from among the Tabi’in, these proto-Sufis fall under the Hadith of the Prophetصلاوات الله وسلامه عليه:
خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ
“The best of mankind are my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them”
(al-Bukhari & Muslim)
What distinguishes the devout, proto-Sufis in the time of the Salaf from the contemporary libertine, pseudo-Sufis, is the former’s deep attachment to and reverence for the holy Quran. They truly understood the Quran as being the literal speech of Allah, and were in awe of its power and majesty, as a kind of manifestation of Allah’s sublime glory or tajalli. A great example of this is the proto-Sufi, devout worshiper, the qadi (judge) of Basra, Zurara bin Awfaرحمه الله. While offering his Fajr prayer in the Mosque of Bani Qushayr, he recited the Verse,
فَإِذَا نُقِرَ فِي النَّاقُورِ
When the Trumpet is blown
(Sura 74:8)
and immediately fell down dead (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, v.9 pp.150-151; Siyar A’lam an-Nubala, v.4 pp.515-516):





There are several other proto-Sufis who experienced the same thing, i.e., they suddenly died upon hearing the recitation of the Quran, as a result of being overcome by its compelling sublimity. No other scripture (Bible, Vedas, Gita, Sutras, Avesta, Adi Granth, Book of Mormon, etc.)  is known to have induced the same kind of awe-inspiring reaction in the people who read it.


Jews say "Ezra is son of Allah"? (Sura 9:30)


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

One of the objections leveled against the divine-authorship of the holy Quran, especially from the Jewish quarter, is that it has falsely attributed a doctrine to Judaism which the latter is absolutely free from:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ

The Jews say, “Uzayr is the son of Allah” and the Christians say, “the Messiah is the son of Allah”

(Sura 9:30)

Admittedly, the the divine sonship of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, is a defining doctrine of Christianity (with the exception of a few minor denominations such as the Unitarians). But in this Verse, it is alleged that Jews believe about Uzayr that he is the “son of God” along the same lines that Christians confess Jesus is the “son of God”. Yet it is quite apparent that there is no such doctrine in Judaism, which, like Islam, strictly upholds the oneness of God and considers the deification of any human being as avodah zarah (idolatry).

It is generally understood that Uzayr in the Quran is a reference to the Biblical figure Ezra. Muslim scholars are divided over whether Uzayr was one of the prophets of Allah. The Quran is silent on the matter, and has only mentioned Uzayr explicitly in this Verse. Even the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) has said:

وَمَا أَدْرِي أَعُزَيْرٌ نَبِيٌّ هُوَ أَمْ لاَ

“I do not know if Uzayr was a prophet or not”

(Sunan Abi Dawud #4674)

The majority of exegetes claim that the man spoken of in Sura 2:259, whom Allah caused to die for a hundred years then raised back to life, is none other than Uzayr. However, based on my own research with strong proofs, Sura 2:259 is speaking of the prophet Ezekiel and his vision of the valley of dry bones, but Allah knows best. Quite recently, some Muslim apologists have stated that Uzayr is not Ezra, as the Arabicized name of Ezra is عَزْرا (Azra) and not Uzayr. Although this argument doesn’t lack merit, the fact of the matter is, whether Uzayr is Ezra or someone else such as Metatron, when the Quran says that the Jews say Uzayr is the son of Allah, it is not necessarily referring to all the Jews or any doctrine of orthodox Judaism. The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) in 7th century Arabia, who had encounters and dealings with the Jewish community in Medina. It is in the context of these specific Jews that the Quran condemns their belief that Uzayr is the son of Allah. It is quite apparent that the Quran is not disclosing some unknown matter to his Prophet regarding the doctrines of Judaism, only pointing out to him that what the Jews are saying about Uzayr is an example of their deviation. Scholars and historians know that the specific Jewish community in 7th century Arabia were different in terms of certain beliefs and practices from the mainstream and orthodox Jews. Many of those Jews in Arabia were in fact Judaized converts, and they exhibited syncretism in their local practice and understanding of Judaism. The classical tafasir and mufassirin confirm the fact that this saying “Uzayr is the son of Allah” was specifically that of a group of the Jews in Medina, and not a universally held to by the majority of Jews globally. In fact, there are even reports in the classical books of exegesis that this was the statement of a single individual among the Jews named Finhas:

اختلف أهل التأويل في القائل { عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ } فقال بعضهم كان ذلك رجلاً واحداً، هو فنحاص. ذكر من قال ذلك حدثنا القاسم، قال ثنا الحسين، قال ثني حجاج، عن ابن جريج، قال سمعت عبد الله بن عبيد بن عمير، قوله { وَقالَتِ اليَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ } ، قال قالها رجل واحد، قالوا إن اسمه فنحاص، وقالوا هو الذي قال

{ إنَّ اللَّهَ فَقِيرٌ ونَحنُ أغْنِياءُ }

The people of Ta’wil (interpretation of the Quran) differed about the sayer of “Uzayr is the son of Allah”. Some of them said it was a single man, Finhas. Ibn Jurayj said he head Abd Allah bin Ubayd bin Umayr about His saying “the Jews says Uzayr is the son of Allah”, he said, this is the saying of a single man whose name is Finhas, the one who (also) said: “Verily, Allah is impoverished and we are rich” (Sura 3:181)

(Tafsir Ibn Jarir)

The fact that the Quran has only mentioned this once and not repeatedly, unlike its condemnation of the Christian doctrines of trinity and deification of Christ, which are repeated throughout the sacred text, is quite significant. It points to the fact that the Quran itself considers this as an isolated case of the perversion of a few Jews and not at the same level of the Christians, within whom confessions of outright tritheism are well established and pervasive.

Wahdat ul-Wujud (Oneness of Existence) Refuted


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

The false doctrine of wahdat ul-wujud was formulated by Ibn Arabi. Although I have declared this doctrine as false, it is incorrect to equate it with pantheism, as many novices lazily do. According to the doctrine of wahdat ul-wujud, all created things have an imaginary existence and only the existence of Allah is real and true. Hence why it is called “wahdat ul-wujud”, oneness of existence, as only Allah is existent according to this doctrine. Contrary to this, the Prophet Muhammad said:

مَنْ شَهِدَ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولُهُ وَكَلِمَتُهُ، أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ، وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ، وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ، أَدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ

“Whoever testifies that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, alone, having no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and apostle, and that Jesus is the slave of Allah, His apostle, His word bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise is real and the Hellfire is real, Allah shall admit him into Paradise upon whatever he did of good deeds.”

(al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Paradise and Gehinnom are created things, yet it is an article of faith for us to believe that they are real places, having a true, real existence and not imaginary. According to the doctrine of wahdat ul-wujud, Paradise and Gehinnom have an imaginary existence as only Allah is Haq (true, real) having a real existence.

The Prophet would also supplicate to Allah in these words:

أَنْتَ الْحَقُّ وَوَعْدُكَ حَقٌّ، وَقَوْلُكَ حَقٌّ، وَلِقَاؤُكَ حَقٌّ، وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ، وَالسَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّبِيُّونَ حَقٌّ، وَمُحَمَّدٌ حَقٌّ

“You are the Truth, Your promise is true, Your saying is true, Your meeting is true, Paradise is true, Hellfire is true, the Hour is true, the Prophets are true, and Muhammad is true”

(al-Bukhari)

The Tawhid brought by the ancient Prophets of Allah is not the so-called tawhid of wujud, meaning negating the existence of everything besides Allah. True Tawhid of the Prophets is to negate the right of worship of anything besides Allah. The Wujudis quote the Hadith in which the Prophet confirmed the words of the poet Labid:

أَلاَ كُلُّ شَىْءٍ مَا خَلاَ اللَّهَ بَاطِلٌ

“Alas! Everything besides Allah is false”

(al-Bukhari & Muslim)

The reader should keep in mind that these words are poetic and not meant to be read literally. Do the Wujudis have the audacity to openly say that the Angels, Scriptures and Prophets of Allah are batil (false), thereby repudiating their faith and becoming apostates and disbelievers of Islam? The fact of the matter is that the Prophet confirmed these poetic words upon the meaning with which their author, Labid, intended them, namely, that the worship of anything besides Allah is false. This beautiful couplet of the poet is concerning the Tawhid of ibada (worship) brought by the Prophets, and not the false tawhid of wujud (negating real existence for the creation) brought by the deluded “mystic” Ibn Arabi.

Allah is Present and Immanent


Sayyidina Abi Musa al-Ashari ؓ narrates that Prophet Muhammad said:

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَيْسَ بِأَصَمَّ وَلاَ غَائِبٍ هُوَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ رُءُوسِ رِحَالِكُمْ

“Verily, your Lord is not deaf nor absent; He is between you and between the heads of your mounts”

(Jami al-Tirmidhi #3374)

The Hadith refutes those Salafis who say it is incorrect to describe Allah as being hadhir (present), because being present is the exact opposite of being gha’ib (absent), and the Prophet specifically and emphatically negated absence for Allah. Furthermore, He said Huwa baynakum “He is between you”. We believe that Allahumma is established above His Throne, and that His holy essence is separate and distinct from the creation. This is what one may refer to as His transcendence. At the same time, we Muslims believe Allah is immanent, He is manifest and He is omnipresent, though not in His holy essence, rather, through His knowledge and power, which emcompass all things. For Him, nothing is distant or out of His control and awareness. This is the reality of His names and attributes al-Zahir (the manifest, immanent), and al-Batin (the hidden, transcendent):

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Immanent and the Transcendent

(Sura 57:3)

وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ

He is with you wherever you are

(Sura 57:4)

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Ibn Arabi: Superiority of Wilaya over Nubuwwa


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

In the previous entry, I referenced Ibn Arabi’s understanding that Nubuwwa (prophethood) is of two kinds; 1. Legislative or particular prophethood, and 2. Non-legislative or general prophethood. According to Ibn Arabi, the former has ceased, but the latter remains. This I quoted from Ibn Arabi’s book Fusus al-Hikam, in the Uzayriya chapter. Ibn Arabi has devoted this chapter to explaining his view that the status of Wilaya is superior to that of Nubuwwa. He claims that Allah Most High censured Uzayr (Ezra) for asking about the reality of Qadar (divine decree), and further threatened him:

لئن لم تنته عن السؤال عن ماهية القدر لأمحون اسمك من ديوان النبوة

“If you do not desist from asking about how the decree is, I will efface your name from the register of prophethood” (Fusus al-Hikam, pp.134, 136):


I say that Ibn Arabi has shamelessly fabricated this. Nowhere is it stated in the Quran or Hadith that Uzayr asked Allah about the reality of al-Qadar, or that Allah threatened to erase his name from the register of prophethood. Orthodox Muslims believe that once Allah appoints someone as a prophet, he is a prophet forever and it is impossible that his prophethood should ever be taken away from him. I have made this point several times against those people who argue that Jesus of Nazareth shall return to this Earth not as a prophet but as a reformer and an ummati. Effectively, such people believe that Jesus of Nazareth shall have his status of being a prophet taken away from him, and demoted to being an ummati, non-prophet. The true and orthodox position is that the coming Messiah will simultaneously be a prophet and ummati. Returning to Ibn Arabi, he has made this fabricated story about Uzayr a proof for his heresy that wilaya (sainthood) is superior to nubuwwa (prophethood). This is why he says that if Allah took away nubuwwa from Uzayr, the latter would still retain his wilaya, and would be acquainted with the reality of the things he was asking about through tajalli rather than wahi (divine revelation. According to Ibn Arabi, it is the fact that a prophet is a wali that makes him superior. So a prophet who is a wali in addition to being a prophet is superior to someone who is merely a prophet:

فإذا رأيت النبي يتكلم بكلام خارج عن التشريع فمن حيث هو ولي عارف. ولهذا مقامه من حيث هو عالم وولي أتم وأكمل من حيث هو رسول أو ذو تشريع وشرع. فإذا سمعت أحدا من أهل الله يقول أو ينقل إليك عنه أنه قال الولاية أعلى من النبوة، فليس يريد ذلك القائل إلا ما ذكرناه. أو يقول أن الولي فوق النبي والرسول فإنه يعني بذلك في شخص واحد وهو أن الرسول من حيث أنه ولي أتم منه من حيث أنه نبي ورسول

“If you see a Prophet speaking a language outside the simple ordinances of the Shari'a, that is due to the fact that he is a wali and a gnostic. For this reason, his station in respect to his being a man of knowledge and a wali is more perfect and complete than it is due to the fact that he is a Messenger or someone who legislates and has a Shari'a. If you hear one of the People of Allah speaking, or it is related to you that he said, ‘Wilaya is higher than prophethood,’ that speaker only means what we mentioned. Or if he says that the wali is above the Prophet or the Messenger, he means in the same person. He is the Messenger, and inasmuch as he is a wali, he is more complete than he is by simply being a Prophet.” (Fusus al-Hikam p.135):

This is a great heresy from Ibn Arabi and the other so-called “People of Allah” he is referring to. The truth is that every prophet and apostle of Allah is necessarily a wali also, but the office of nubuwwa and risala within him is what elevates him above the non-prophets. It is the rank of nubuwwa and risala which is the supreme rank that any human can be given.

Ibn Arabi: "General Prophethood Remains"


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

Ibn Arabi, whom many Sufis regard as Muhi ud-Din “Reviver of the Religion” and Shaykh al-Akbar, declared that Nubuwwa (Prophethood) remains in its general form, and only the particular type of Nubuwwa, that is, the legislative Nubuwwa, has ceased in the person of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam):

فأبقى لهم النبوة العامة اللتي لا تشريع فيها

“So they still have the general prophethood in which is no law (shari’a)” (Fusus al-Hikam p.135):


Civil War in Saudi Arabia?


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

The Arabian peninsula is central to Islamic prophecy. For this reason, Muslims with an apocalyptic worldview should pay particularly close attention to events unfolding in Saudi Arabia. The current monarch, king Salman, is an ailing old man in his 80s. Real power rests with his donkey of a son, the notorious MBS. According to a fresh report from Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institute: “Fearing for his security, the crown prince is said to spend many nights on his half-billion-dollar yacht moored in Jeddah...If the king dies suddenly and soon, the succession may be disputed and even violent.” This is certainly in keeping with my earlier prediction based on Islamic prophecy that Saudi Arabia will soon be engulfed in a civil war: “Saudi Arabia is currently going through some major changes for the worse. This movement away from conservative Islamic values and toward moral corruption in the name of modernization and reform is being spearheaded by the crown prince Muhammad bin Salman. His father is the king of Saudi Arabia, but being extremely advanced in age, he may die anytime now and be succeeded by his devilish son who is relatively young and ambitious. It is not inconceivable that upon the death of king Salman Saudi Arabia will be plunged into conflict with squabbles within the House of Saud rising to the surface. Remember that the emergence of the Mahdi will be in an atmosphere of turmoil and dissension, with the princes of the ruling family fighting each other for the throne.”

The internal divisions within the Al Saud family are bubbling to the surface. When MBS was initially named crown prince, it seemed nothing could stand in his way. He enjoyed a celebrity in his own country and on the international stage. He was cheered on for his Vision 2030 and for wanting to reform Saudi society away from the rigid “Wahhabism” to a more “moderate” interpretation of Islam. But the true, ugly face of MBS was exposed quickly after he made serious miscalculations in relation to Yemen, Lebanon and Qatar. His recent crack down on Saudi religious leaders, businessmen, and human rights activists have soured his international reputation. He is now regarded as nothing more than a self-serving autocrat by many of those who once hoped he would be the much needed reformer of the Arab world.

In the Hadith of Thawban collected by Ibn Maja the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) reportedly said:

يَقْتَتِلُ عِنْدَ كَنْزِكُمْ ثَلاَثَةٌ كُلُّهُمُ ابْنُ خَلِيفَةٍ ثُمَّ لاَ يَصِيرُ إِلَى وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَطْلُعُ الرَّايَاتُ السُّودُ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ فَيَقْتُلُونَكُمْ قَتْلاً لَمْ يُقْتَلْهُ قَوْمٌ

“Three will fight one another for your treasure, each one of them the son of a caliph, but none of them will gain it. Then the black banners will come from the east, and they will kill you in an unprecedented manner.”

(Sunan Ibn Maja #4084)

Although there might be a slight weakness in this Hadith due to some issues of tadlis, there are some shawahid (supportive narrations), and if it is to be taken as authentic, then it is quite tempting to apply this Hadith to the situation in Saudi Arabia today. By “caliph” is meant a ruler and not necessarily a just Islamic ruler or khalifa rashid, and therefore can apply to the father of the current Saudi rulers, namely, Abd ul-Aziz (d.1953). When the current Saudi king, Salman (one of the many sons of Abd ul-Aziz), ascended the throne in January 2015, the crown prince was his brother Muqrin. Then Muqrin was replaced as crown prince with his nephew, Muhammad bin Nayef, a grandson of Abd ul-Aziz, in April of that year. Only two months later, the position of crown prince rotated once more, this time to king Salman’s young son Muhammad, known as MBS. It is not too difficult to see a clash between these three families (Muqrin, Nayef and Salman) should the current king suddenly die, or any other of the prominent families in the Al Saud clan, such as that of the previous king Abdullah. Another Saudi prince, Ahmad bin Abd ul-Aziz, recently issued a public and scathing criticism of both the king and his son MBS. It is not to far-fetched to say that when the current king dies his own brothers and their children will fight for the throne, leading the country into a bloody civil war. In such a scenario, with the Saudi kingdom destabilized, an army shall come from the east, probably Khurasan (modern-day Afghanistan) with black banners, pledging its loyalty to the Mahdi, who will have emerged by then. This army shall naturally be resisted by the various Arab regimes, and so fight them with ferocious, religious zeal, which is why the Hadith says “they shall kill you in an unprecedented manner”, as the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was obviously addressing the Arabs. A similar Hadith states:

يَكُونُ اخْتِلاَفٌ عِنْدَ مَوْتِ خَلِيفَةٍ

“Disagreement will occur at the death of a caliph”

(Sunan Abi Dawud #4286)

The Hadith is weak due to an unknown narrator, however, it is interesting because it goes on to describe the appearance of the Mahdi in the Hejaz at that time. The “caliph” may then be a reference to the current Saudi ruler (again, who is a “caliph” in the linguistic sense of being a ruler who has succeeded the ruler before him, and not a rightly-guided Khalifa). When this king dies, the “disagreement” is none other than the anticipated civil war within the House of Saud, destabilizing the country and paving the way for the disclosing of the promised Mahdi of the Ahl al-Bayt. Of course, time will soon tell whether this interpretation is correct or not. I suspect it is (more or less), meaning the time for the Mahdi’s appearance is at hand. Saudi Arabia is about to be destabilized due to the internal divisions within the House of Saud, owing especially to the reckless behavior of MBS and the stupidity of his foolish father. Allah knows best.

Political Narrative of Islam (Part 2)


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

As pledged earlier, I would like to turn the focus of my columns and articles to the third dimension of Islam, namely, its political narrative. Our sacred and holy Quran speaks of the liberation of the weak, oppressed people from tyranny:

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا

And what is it for you that you fight not in the Way of Allah and (for) the weak among men, women and children; those who say: “Our Lord, take us out of this town of its oppressive people, and make for us, from Yourself, a protector, and make for us, from Yourself, a helper.”

(Sura 4:75)

In the context of the Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, this Verse is referring to the persecuted Believers in Mecca who were prevented from leaving it to join the Prophet and their brethren in faith in Medina. The final liberation for these weak and oppressed Believers came about with the Conquest of Mecca, in the eighth year after Hijra, corresponding to 630 CE. The Verse states that the Believers should fight in the Way of Allah, meaning for the purpose of establishing Tawhid and to make His Word supreme in the land, and after that, their second motivation should be to liberate the weak, oppressed men, women and children. The prayer of those weak, oppressed people is that Allah make for them a Wali and a Nasir. By the latter is meant someone who should come to their aid, a savior and deliverer, but the former term, Wali, requires more explanation as it is most relevant to Islam’s own political ideology. The Wilayate that Islam seeks to establish is the desire and expectation of the weak, oppressed people, in place of the tyranny and oppression they are forced to endure. Such a Wali and a Wilayate is made by Allah Himself:

وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا

“Make for us, from Yourself, a Wali”

The words mil-ladunka signify that the Wali of the weak and oppressed is sent by Allah Himself. Once this divine Wilayate is established, it is dutibound to fight in the Way of Allah and to liberate the weak, oppressed people from their tyrannical, un-Islamic regimes. During the epoch of the Prophet’s first two successors, sayyidina Abi Bakr al-Siddiq ؓ and sayyidina Umar al-Faruq ؓ, the pure and divinely-supported Islamic state engaged in war with both the Eastern Roman and Neo-Persian empires. That was undoubtedly a Jihad in the Way of Allah to establish Tawhid and the Religion of Allah in their domains. But it was also motivated by the desire to liberate the weak, oppressed peoples of those domains from the tyranny and cruelty of their regimes. These empires and kingdoms were known for tyrannically oppressing their peasants, with burdensome and unjust taxes for example, while the corrupt aristocracy and rulers lived in shameless luxury. Due to the bigotry of the Christian clergy, the Jews of the Eastern Roman empire were often persecuted and mistreated. In the early 7th century, while the Prophet Muhammad   was struggling against idolatry and the persecution of his own people in Arabia, the Jews launched an insurrection against Heraclius, the Eastern Roman emperor. This insurrection was led by two enigmatic figures, Nehemiah ben Hushiel and Benjamin of Tiberias. It was fueled by apocalyptic and messianic fervor, and, though brutally crushed by the Romans, demonstrated the genuine need for liberation from the latter. Today, it is the Muslims and particularly the Arabs that have become weak and oppressed, and are crying out to Allah to send them a Wali and a Nasir. Only by adapting the apocalyptic, messianic worldview, will Muslims truly begin to understand the “big picture” and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the promised Mahdi . The latter shall be the Wali and Nasir that the weak, oppressed are crying out for, whom Allah Himself shall appoint and strengthen with heavenly forces, to overthrow and decimate the forces of oppression, and substitute, in their place, a pure Islamic wilayate.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ayat al-Mubahala (Sura 3:61)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

Previously, I discussed the fact that the Ahl al-Bayt of Ayat at-Tathir (Sura 33:33) is referring primarily to the Ahl al-Kisaa, also known as the Panjtan Pak, namely, the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatima, his grandsons Hasan and Husayn, and his cousin Ali (peace be upon them). In this column, I shall discuss another well-known verse of the Qur‘an, namely, the Ayat al-Mubahala:

فَمَنْ حَاجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اللَّـهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ

Then whoever argues with you concerning it from after what came to you of knowledge, then say, “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then let us pray humbly, and we invoke the curse of Allah on the liars.”

(Surah 3:61)

Now this Aya was originally revealed in connection with the Prophet’s debate with the Christians of Najran. The latter, due to their stubbornness, refused to budge in light of the powerful arguments made by the Prophet against the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth and against the polytheistic doctrine of the trinity. It was at that impasse that Allah revealed this Aya instructing His Prophet to challenge the Christians to a prayer contest known as Mubahala. And in the field of this contest, each party would have to present not only themselves, but also their women and their sons. It is quite noteworthy that the Prophet did not come out with any of his wives. Rather, as sayyidina Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas ؓ has narrated:

وَلَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ ‏{‏ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ‏}‏ دَعَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلِيًّا وَفَاطِمَةَ وَحَسَنًا وَحُسَيْنًا فَقَالَ ‏ اللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلاَءِ أَهْلِ

When the (following) verse was revealed: “Let us summon our sons and your sons...”, Allah’s Messenger called Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: “O Allah, they are my family” (Sahih Muslim)

Imam Amir b. Sharahil al-Sha‘bi has further explained the Aya:

قَالَ الشَّعْبِيُّ : أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ : الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ ، وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ : فَاطِمَةُ ، وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُمْ : عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ

“Our sons: al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Our women: Fatima. Ourselves: Ali bin Abi Talib - Allah be pleased with them” (Ash-Shari‘a lil-Aajuri)

Incidentally, based on this Ayat al-Mubaraka, Amir ul-Mu‘minin Ali b. Abi Talib is the very Nafs (self) of the Prophet Muhammad , and that is, indeed, an enormous virtue.

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