Saturday, May 8, 2021

FRIDAY SERMON: Political Rivalry: Cancer amongst the Muslims, by Abu Jabir Abdullah

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I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allaah, that you may receive mercy.” Qur’an 49:10

It is a well-known fact that, Islam in its encompassing and pragmatic nature, was the most effective tool that was used in uniting the most antagonistic and feudalistic nations of the Arabs. Before the coming of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Arabs were steep in barbarism, killing each other at the slightest provocation inspired by clannish tendencies. History bears testimony to the fact that, there was a total absence of political organization in the Arabian Peninsula. This reflected largely in the most remarkable way – lawlessness and anarchy.

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Is the current political atmosphere a renaissance of the old barbaric norm? Has political party affiliations replaced clannish tendencies? is it that the Muslims in politics have relegated Islamic principles to the tail end and rather opted for the empirical and normative political theories? Is party affiliation and political rivalry more alluring than brotherhood of Islam between them? Is it that the Muslims have been blinded by politics that they no longer see the Islamic teachings which were meant to guide their actions and utterances? Where is the brotherhood of Islam?

Notably, the brotherhood of Islam is not just a mere theoretical gimmick, rather, it is pretty much within the practical reach of humans. This has been explicitly stated and outlined in the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah (ways, practice and silent approvals of the Prophet peace be upon him) such that, the Muslims will have no excuse to justify their internal bickering mostly inspired by worldly ambitions. Whoever abandons the true teachings of Islam that lead humanity to attain the spirit of true brotherhood, will undoubtedly fail miserably.

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Consequently, Islam has equally prohibited certain actions that will endanger the brotherhood between the Muslims. Alas! these beautiful teachings have been flushed down the drain by a good number of Muslims of today. One of the most dangerous things that has befallen the Muslim Ummah, is the dark cloud of political rivalry hovering above them ready to engulf them completely in oppression and utter destruction.

Resultantly, the politically driven Muslims of today, have become vulnerable to all sorts of diseases of the heart which strikes directly at the very core foundation of their brotherhood. Safe to say that, some have allowed themselves to become puppets in the hands of Satan, who is an open enemy to man. The diseases of hasad (envy), hatred, turning against each other, wronging each other, having resentment and contempt against one another, and desecrating the inviolability of each other’s blood, wealth and honor, all have become the norm. The scholars have not been spared by this political tsunami. The Ummah is bleeding!

The manifestation of the evils and the negative backlash of envy, hatred and the violation of blood, wealth and honor amongst the Muslims because of political differences, is the division of the Muslim Ummah in an unimaginable proportion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Creeping upon you is the disease of the peoples before you: envy and hatred. And the hatred is the thing that shaves. I do not say it shaves hair, but it shaves the religion. By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad- you will not enter Paradise until you believe. And you do not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which will establish such for you: spreading the greetings (of peace) among yourselves.” Recorded by Ahmad, al-Hilaali in Eeqaadh said it is hasan (good).

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Unfortunately, politically driven rivalry has made the Muslims to become hateful of one another. The religion is being shaved away from them without them even realizing its epic proportion. While on one side, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had directed the Muslims to spread peace amongst themselves, on the other side, some Muslim politicians are directing their followers to spread chaos, mayhem and anarchy. This is a bad omen and unless the Muslims wake up to the reality of this world and how quick-passing it is, and how it does not warrant any of this mischief, they will be on an auto-pilot of self-destruction.

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Accordingly, ibn Taymiya said, “hasad (envy) is always accompanied by hatred. This is one of the evils of envy. First the person is envious of the other person, after some time, this envy develops into hatred.” Majmoo volume 2/127. Islam has prohibited Muslims from hating one another for any sake other than for the sake of Allaah. Alas! this type of hatred for the sake of Allaah has been viciously substituted by hatred due to personal desires. Muslims should show respect and treat each other fairly regardless of their political differences, they are Muslims first before anything.

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With tears of agony down the cheek of every concerned Muslim, there is an urgent need for all stake holders and the scholars to take advantage of their pulpits to unite the Ummah with that which united them before – lslam, and not allow political rivalry divide the Ummah in a way that it will never regain its strength. How can the Muslims consider one another as brothers yet wrong, oppress, kill, cheat and spread malicious tale against one another?

The Muslims must free themselves from these oppressive acts, otherwise after the political tide, the wounds will need a lifetime struggle to be healed. The ummah will use its strength and moral credibility.

In conclusion, anything that works against the unity and the love amongst the Muslims should be avoided. Anything that is certain to improve and strengthen the love and bond amongst the Muslims should be promoted. Do not allow these non-consequential matters plunge you to the depth of Jahannam (Hell). Just like seasons, elections will come and go. All the insults, all the curses, all the oppression, all the killings will be accounted for in the Court of Allaah. May Allaah give us the best amongst us as leaders and grant us peace and harmony.

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“And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allaah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” Qur’an 2:281

Mr Abdul (Penabdul), an architect, is the Chairman/CEO of Sustainable Project Works (SPW) Ltd & a Lecturer at Baze University, Abuja.  Twitter: @Penabdull Instagram: @Penabdul

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