Jumuah lecture on Friday 5 November 2021 (29 Rabiul Auwal 1443)

Maulana Syed Aftab Haider

Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid

Ottery, Cape Town

Today is the last Friday of the great month of Rabiul Auwal, the month in which we celebrate the sacred birth of the Noor (Light) of Almighty Allah (SWT), arriving in this world in the year known as Aamul Feel. It is the month wherein we reflect on the personality, message and legacy of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

Today, as a concluding discussion, I would like to draw your attention to one paragraph from sermon 108 of Nahjul Balagha, by Amir al-Mu’mineen Imam Ali ibn abi Talib (a.s), where he has beautifully described our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

I think this will be a very good point to conclude this series of discussions we have held during this month. In this khutbah (sermon), after praising Almighty Allah (SWT), Imam Ali (a.s) describes Rasulullah (SAWA) as follows:

اخْتَارَهُ مِنْ شَجَرَةِ الاْنْبِيَاءِ، وَمِشْكَاةِ الضِّيَاءِ ، وَذُؤَابَةِ الْعَلْيَاءِ، وَسُرَّةِ الْبَطْحَاءِ وَمَصَابِيحِ الظُّلْمَةِ، وَيَنَابِيعِ الْحِكْمَةِ

Allah chose him from the lineal tree of prophets, from the flame of light, from the forehead of greatness, from the best part of the valley of al-Bat’ha’, from the lamps for darkness, and from the sources of wisdom.

Imam Ali (a.s) then continues by saying:

طَبِيبٌ دَوَّارٌ بِطِبِّهِ، قَدْ أَحْكَمَ مَرَاهِمَهُ، وَأمْضى مَوَاسِمَهُ، يَضَعُ من ذلِكَ حَيْثُ الْحَاجَةُ إِلَيْهِ، مِنْ قُلُوب عُمْي، وَآذَان صُمٍّ، وَأَلْسِنَة بُكْم; مُتَتَبِّعٌ بِدَوَائِهِ مَوَاضِعَ الْغَفْلَةِ، وَمَوَاطِنَ الْحَيْرَةِ

The Prophet (SAWA) was like a roaming physician who has set ready his ointments and heated his instruments. He uses them wherever the need arises for curing blind hearts, deaf ears, and dumb tongues. He followed with his medicines the spots of negligence and places of perplexity.

RASULULLAH (SAWA): A ROAMING PHYSICIAN

In the aforementioned statement, Imam Ali (a.s) explains that Almighty Allah (SWT) chose our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) from the most beautiful and pure background. He originated from the direct tree of divine Prophets (a.s), coming from the noble series of those who were lamps of guidance in the darkness of ignorance and misguidance.

I don’t know what can define Rasulullah (SAWA) more beautifully than the second statement referenced above by Imam Ali (a.s), after he described the background of Rasulullah (SAWA) being sent to the earth in the earlier statement.

Imam Ali (a.s) refers to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) as a physician. The role of the physician is to provide treatment to ailments and diseases in one’s physical body. Imam Ali (a.s) is therefore saying that Rasulullah (SAWA) was a physician providing treatment to the whole of humanity. He came to treat the ailments of humanity – their spiritual problems, socio-political challenges, ethical and moral diseases!

RASULULLAH (SAWA): PROACTIVELY ATTENDING TO THE AILMENTS OF HUMANITY

Normally, doctors are sitting in their medical rooms or clinics and hospitals, and the patients come to them for help with their physical ailments. The doctor then does a diagnosis and prescribes the appropriate treatment. However, in the case of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), Imam Ali (a.s) says that he is the one who goes searching for the patients, unlike a doctor who waits for the patients to arrive.

This aligns with how the Holy Quran describes Rasulullah (SAWA) as “azizun” (very dear) “min anfusikum” (from among yourselves) in verse 128 of Surah Tauba (chapter 9 of the Holy Quran):

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ

Certainly, a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate.

Rasulullah (SAWA) has too much concern for us. A doctor only feels the pain of a patient when the patient comes for treatment. However, Rasulullah (SAWA) is a doctor before the patient even comes for help with a problem, as he feels the patient’s pain and suffering before being approached by the patient. Therefore, he runs to the patients with his medicine!

We now appreciate why this is a most beautiful quality of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), and how he was inclined towards addressing the ailments and diseases of the people, whereby he reached the people even before they knew they were not well!

SOME DISEASES IN SOCIETY REQUIRED VERY PAINFUL SURGERY FROM RASULULLAH (SAWA)

Imam Ali (a.s) describes here, that Rasulullah (SAWA) prepared two types of treatment. The first is the ointment, so that he can apply it to wherever the wounds are. The second treatment is that he heats his instruments.

It is customary for a doctor to offer medication in the form of tablets, ointments, etc. And you feel good after this treatment. However, there are times when such medication does not work. In those days, it was the norm for instruments to be heated at a very high temperature and then placed on the wound, to burn out the infection this way!

What Imam Ali (a.s) is saying here is in a symbolic sense, that sometimes Rasulullah (SAWA) needed to conduct such a painful treatment, and he was doing it out of utmost concern and sincerity. Now, to repeat the statement referenced above, Imam Ali (a.s) uses his remedies to cure the blind hearts! A medical doctor can cure your blind eyes, but Rasulullah (SAWA) cured the blind hearts! Similarly, the deaf ears and dumb tongues ie. they can hear and speak but are not willing to accept!

طَبِيبٌ دَوَّارٌ بِطِبِّهِ، قَدْ أَحْكَمَ مَرَاهِمَهُ، وَأمْضى مَوَاسِمَهُ، يَضَعُ من ذلِكَ حَيْثُ الْحَاجَةُ إِلَيْهِ، مِنْ قُلُوب عُمْي، وَآذَان صُمٍّ، وَأَلْسِنَة بُكْم; مُتَتَبِّعٌ بِدَوَائِهِ مَوَاضِعَ الْغَفْلَةِ، وَمَوَاطِنَ الْحَيْرَةِ

The Prophet (SAWA) was like a roaming physician who has set ready his ointments and heated his instruments. He uses them wherever the need arises for curing blind hearts, deaf ears, and dumb tongues. He followed with his medicines the spots of negligence and places of perplexity.

This is how Rasulullah (SAWA) reaches out to his patients and offers his remedy to humanity, which is plagued by illnesses and diseases of the soul! He came to treat that most sick Arabian society and took them from compounded moral decadence to the peak of righteousness.

Again, in our last Jumuah of this month of Miladun Nabi (SAWA), we reflect on whether the surgical procedures which Rasulullah (SAWA) conducted to remedy the ailments are losing their effect now, or are we becoming so morally bankrupt to the point where we do not want to accept the treatment which Rasulullah (SAWA) prescribed? Which direction are we moving as a result?

SECOND KHUTBAH
2021 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS HIGHLIGHTS INCREASING DESPAIR AMONGST THE POPULOUS

This week, we passed another very milestone in our country’s democracy, namely the local elections on 1 November. We, as the religious leaders and moral voice, participated as commissioners to observe the moral code of conduct observed by the IEC, political parties and the voters.

We visited various polling stations and platforms used to facilitate these elections to happen successfully. We can feel proud of the IEC, who have once again conducted a very honest job of running the elections to ensure they are free and fair. Similarly, political parties have to a great extent followed the code of conduct based on our observations across the province.

Another very important point worth reflecting on was the extremely low voter turnout in this election. The statistics are all there to analyze this concern. This is itself a clear message from the people to the political leadership, that there is no confidence from the people in them, as their empty promises have now reached a tipping point.

People no longer believe that their vote can change the unfortunate reality of corruption and incapable management and maladministration of our country’s matters, even at a local municipal level. This is a very clear message from the people to the ruling party (ANC), more than anyone else, and also to the wide spectrum of political parties.

TOWNSHIPS HAVE GIVEN UP HOME AND THE AFFLUENT AREAS VOTE TO PROTECT THEIR TURF

This low voter turnout is a vote of no confidence in the ruling party and all other parties, because if there was a great hope in the other parties where people could see a positive future, then people would have expressed it in big numbers at the polls. However, this did not happen! Therefore, it is a very serious matter.

I really hope that our political leadership realizes that this is a very dangerous trend, and the continuous downward spiral has to be arrested. Unfortunately, corruption, maladministration and lack of service delivery continues, regardless of which grouping of the ruling party comes into power. This is the most disappointing reality in our society!

The political leadership MUST take note of the vociferous appeals coming out of these latest municipal elections.

What was particularly worrying from our observations in touring the province on election day was the townships. Historically, the lines at the polling stations use to snake in the townships for people eager to cast their vote. However, what we witnessed now was a complete lack of interest from these very same poorer areas who are filled with much greater socio-economic problems!

Instead, we witnessed queues forming in the affluent areas, the leafy suburbs! This is another important point to analyze ie. identity politics, where people are no longer looking at the best interests of the country, but rather, casting their votes for the political party that is going to advocate for the privileges of their ethnic group to be protected.

Coming back to the point, the people who are suffering the most had no interest in this election, since they lost confidence in the leadership of this country. I hope our political leadership wake up to this!

We hope and pray to Almighty Allah (SWT) to take our country out of this challenging situation, where Covid-19 has only exacerbated a plague which existed beforehand. We pray for our country and its people, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

LEBANESE MINISTER’S HONEST CRITIQUE ON YEMEN CAUSES DISTATEFUL RESPONSE FROM ARAB RULERS

I need to also draw your attention to a very important international scenario, where we find that a Christian Lebanese Minister by the name of George Kordahi said in an interview before becoming Minister, that the war in Yemen is aggression which has achieved nothing other than the killing and suffering of innocent people and destruction of the country’s infrastructure.

This courageous statement by this Christian Lebanese Minister, before he became Minister, became the source of such a great conflict, such that Arab governments have recalled their ambassadors to Lebanon and have suspended their relations with Lebanon!

Shocking, isn’t it? These Arab leaders don’t feel ashamed of themselves if the American President calls them cows or passes sardonic comments about them. They do not think of their dignity. In fact, they will continue to bow down in front of their masters from the White House! However, here an Arab Minister gives his own understanding exposing their crimes in Yemen, and they see it as a stab in their heart!

Israelis are continuing their merciless aggression, treating Arabs as sub-humans deserving to be killed and exterminated, but these same Arab rulers very proudly established their public relationship with them!

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN VICTORIOUS ONCE AGAIN AGAINST AMERICAN BULLYING

Another very interesting incident this week occurred in the Persian Gulf, where Americans, this so-called superpower, captured an Iranian oil tanker and transferred all the oil to another oil tanker. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reacted while this was happening, and through their operation were able to defeat this theft by the American forces in the Persian Gulf.

The IRGC successfully brought the tanker back into Iranian territorial waters and safely docked in the Iranian port.

This is one incident, but shows something much deeper, that it is not straightforward for Americans to do as they please with Iran. They continuously threaten to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran, wanting to destroy its nuclear installations etc. They should learn their lesson from this incident, where they were stealing Iranian oil from the oil tanker, they hijacked but were defeated when the IRGC stepped in and recaptured the oil tanker.

This is a clear message to the American forces, that they cannot continue to be an international bully everywhere without facing a reprisal. It is not acceptable and no longer possible! 20 years of destruction they committed in Afghanistan is witness to everyone about what atrocities they committed, before exiting with humiliation and leaving the people of Afghanistan with a huge mess!

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