and how Imam Ali (a.s) is connected every step of the way

Moulud lecture (Part 2 of 4) delivered by Brother Bashier Rahim at Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town during the jumuah khutbah on 25 December 2015

We are in the beautiful month of Rabi ul Awwal wherein we commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (sawa), the Mercy sent to the Universe.

And this year our Moulud celebrations coincide with the week in which our Christian brethren celebrate the birth of Jesus or Prophet Eesa (a.s) and this co-incidence should perhaps be explored in a positive way.

Hence you see from the side of political leaders like President Rouhani of Iran or Syed Nasrullah from Hizbullah in Lebanon or even certain mosques in Cape Town, that sincere greetings and best wishes are extended to the Christian community as well as they celebrate the birth of the one whom they follow.

Prophet Muhammad (sawa) is a Mercy unto the whole of mankind, or rather unto the universe. And as an expression of his Mercy, he is passionately only concerned with the spiritual and material well being of every human being and existing thing.

And into today’s khutbah, we will explore a small portion of that Mercy as we continue the series of lectures that we started on the 12th night of Rabi ul Awwal in relation to the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (sawa) wherein we also highlight how Imam Ali (a.s) is connected every step of the way to the Prophetic Mission.

We have already discussed how the sending of the Messenger is to complete the Proof of Almighty Allah over us and that after his passing away, the need for the proof of Allah over us remains and that the Imams who are the custodians of the Quran are then the Proofs of Allah over us, with Imam Ali (a.s) then having been the first such proof in a series of 12 Imams.

In addition to the Messenger being a Proof of Allah over us, we also said that the Messengership is a Lutf or Grace of Allah and special favour from Almighty Allah to us whose value we are not capable of enumerating. And just like the Messengership of Muhammad (sawa) is a special favour of Allah upon us, so is the institution of Imamate considered in Quranic terms to be “manna” or a special favour of Allah upon us.

Then we said that in the Mission of the Messenger, that the Quran outlines four very special outcomes as follows:

1.     He recites the signs of Allah to the people;

2.     He purifies them;

3.     He teaches them the Book; and

4. He teaches them the Wisdom.

And the reason why the first job of the Prophet (sawa) is “tilawah” or to “recite” the verses of the Quran is because it amounts to an appeal to one’s intellect.

We have said in previous lectures that the foundational capital of our intellect requires no proof – because it is already there. Like belief in the Law of Cause and Effect requires no proof, every human being intuitively understands it, believes in it and applies it in their daily lives.

The recognition of the Law of Non-contradiction requires no proof, our intellects recognise it without having to prove it.

Prophet (sawa) must recite the Ayaat of Allah to us because the Quran has an amazing intellectual appeal. And those who read the Quran as it aught to be read are bound to believe in it, nay their belief in it increases with every recital.

The Quran and ayaat of Allah appeals to our intellect in a variety of ways. And the Quran goes out of its way, in a sense, to make such appeal. It provides a variety of proofs so that everyone coming from a variety of backgrounds will connect to its intellectual appeal at different levels.

In aqeedah classes some of these proofs are dealt with in detail. But almost of them have a basis in the Quran itself.

1. If you look at the proof of the Discipline and Order in the universe, then the Quran makes reference in various places to reflect on the creation of Allah.

Look at the creation of various things. In Surah Ghashiyah from verse 17 onwards it says:

??????? ??????????? ????? ????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ?????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ?????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ????????? ?????? ????????

“Do they not look at camels, how they are created?
And at the Sky, how it is raised high?
And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm?
And at the Earth, how it is spread out?”

Reflect on this verse and you will see the proof of Discipline and Order of the Universe.

The camel is an animal that the Arabs could relate to. It has been created in a manner that made transport across the desert possible as it can go without water for three weeks.

And its knees has hard skin like callouses that make it possible to withstand the harsh heat of the sand of the desert when it kneels to sit down for its passengers to dismount.

And its skin acts like an air conditioner to keep its body cool in extreme hot or cold conditions.

And its eyelids protect it from the dessert storms.

And so on.

Or the creation of the bee. Have we ever considered how its possible that when most of creation eats food, it excretes waste afterwards, but the bee, after eating food, in addition to excreting waste like all of us, it also produces one of the most healthy and wholesome drinks called honey due to the design of its creation in that a bee has two stomachs, one to digest food and a second stomach called the honey stomach to manufacture honey.

Or ponder upon the creation of the ant or the elephant or the cow or the fly….all of whom are mentioned in Quran and others.

2. Or if you can’t relate to that then how about the proof of the Primary Mover.

When Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) articulates this Proof, he looks at the star in the sky and due to its greatness makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord. And similarly he looks at the moon and due to its greatness makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord. And similarly he looks at the sun and due to its greatness he makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord.

But when he sees each one set, i.e. the star sets, the moon sets, the sun sets, then he says:

?? ??????? ??????????

“I like not those that disappear.”

Because for something to disappear, it had to move and if something moves, then it requires a mover.

But Ibrahim (a.s) is only willing to accept as his Lord, one who is the Primary Mover, one who moves everything else but Himself is not moved and thus says:

?????? ????????? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????????????? ?????????? ???????? ????? ?????? ???? ??????????????

“I have turned my Face (my entire existence) to Him who is the Originator of the heavens and the earth.”

And in our daily prayers it is even recommended to read this declaration of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) before we start our prayers.

3. Or if that proof is not appealing to you because it requires a bit of intellectual exercise (or like some who are deliberately not willing to apply their intellect call it mental gymnastics!), then the Quran calls upon all to reflect one of the best proofs that requires no proof at all as we naturally believe in it and that is the proof of cause and effect.

In Surah At-Tur Verse 35 it says:

??? ???????? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ?????????????

“Were they created out of nothing? Or were they themselves the creators? “

In other words are we an effect for which there is no cause? Or are we the cause of our own existence? This is one of the simplest and most profound of Ayaat that the Messenger is required to read to us as it has such a wide appeal.

4. And when the most obvious intellectual proof does not work, whereby you will use your free will to respond to the accurate guidance of your intellect in assessing the Ayaat of Allah, then the Quran even appeals to you to respond like you would respond when you have virtually no choice.

This is when the Ayaat of Allah pinches your deep nature and calls you to reflect on how you respond when you find yourself in a hopeless situation and at the brink of destruction.

So in Surah Ankabut Verse 65 it says:

??????? ???????? ??? ????????? ??????? ??????? ??????????? ???? ?????????

“And so, when they embark on a ship [and find themselves in danger], they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone”

This call upon Allah in time of danger or destruction is not necessarily raising your hands or going into sajda and saying “Oh Allah help me,” but it’s a yearning from the core of our existence and a call from the tongue of our nature and is thus done with absolute sincerity to some higher power to help you. And in the discussion on the reality of dua we said that dua which is made with absolute sincerity is responded to.

And in life everyone at some time felt like that….where we made a dua in desperation that was responded to.

So the Ayaat of Allah call upon us to reflect on how we react when we have no choice…..why do we yearn for help when on the face of it it should not be forthcoming? Because our nature recognises the existence of a higher power that it continually calls out to.

And various other proofs which appeal to our intellect are recited by the Prophet (sawa) to us.

The Quran is filled with scientific truths that have influence many famous people in history to have accepted Islam.

Dr Maurice Bucaille is one such famous person who was a surgeon and studied the Quranic text and the Bible and eventually became Muslim and wrote a book “The Bible, the Quran and Science.” And among various scientific proofs that he makes reference to in Quran, he even traces the body of Rameses II to be the Phirown from the time of Prophet Musa (a.s) through references which are only available in the Quran which he was able to trace to hieroglyphic records of Ancient Egypt.

And there are endless other examples of marine biologists, engineers and researchers who accepted Islam by reading these Ayaat of Allah in the Quran.

In executing his mission, Prophet (sawa) is the most passionate person you can imagine who wants to get through to you to the extent that if he had his way, then he would save every human being.

As clear as the proofs provided in the Quran are in relation to the existence of Allah and the Mission of Muhammad (sawa), there are those atheists and hypocrites who are so blind that they will rather place their bet on the illogical Unproven Theory of Evolution than the rational proof of God’s existence.

And out of sheer Mercy of Almighty Allah, when Prophet (sawa) recites the Ayaat of Allah to us, he even has an appealing message to these atheists.

That message is presented in the form of a bet which was coined around 400 years ago by a French philosopher to be called “Pascal’s Wager.”

What is “Pascal’s Wager”?

Blaise Pascal was someone who presented a proof by using probability theory which is commonly used in statistics today whereby he claimed that believing in God is simply in man’s best interest.

The most common version of Pascal’s wager is quickly summarized as follows:

“Either God exists or He does not exist.” Since reason is of no help (supposedly) in choosing between the two – and everyone must choose – reason itself demands that you consult your “happiness” and choose the option that holds the prospect of bringing greater happiness.

You compare the gains and losses that will flow from the two choices – either God exists or He does not exist – and choose the belief from which you expect to receive the greater gain. Let us suppose that you have placed a bet that God exists. In this case, “if you are correct and thus win you win everything, if you are wrong and thus lose the bet; you lose nothing or very very little which really are the few luxuries of this world.

But if you bet that God does not exist – and you are wrong, you lose everything.

Thus Pascal concludes, “Place your bet that God does exist.” Place your bet on God because the outcomes for believing are either superior to or no worse than those for disbelief.

Prophet (sawa) who is required to recite the ayaat of Allah to all of mankind is also required to appeal to the worst sceptics by reciting verses of the Quran which include the idea of Pascal’s Wager.

Thus in Surah Fussilat Verse 52:

???? ???????????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ???? ???? ??????? ??????? ???? ??? ??????? ???????

Say, “Have you considered: what if the Qur’an is from Allah and you disbelieved in it, who would be more astray than one who is in extreme dissension?”

This is the very basis of Pascal’s Wager. Because an atheist, by disbelieving in God, has actually made a choice to believe in the non-existence of God. And this choice is an irrational choice as the potential risk involved is not worth the extremely limited returns.

The tilawat of the ayaat of Allah caters for everybody, for different intellectual levels, from the greatest septic to the greatest of philosophers.

And in the recital of the Ayaat of Allah and the appeal to the intellect, after the Prophet (sawa), no one other than Imam Ali (a.s) is able to present these proofs in such a sublime manner.

And thus from very the first sermon of Imam Ali (a.s) in Nahjul Balagha you see the most philosophically sound and deep reflection on the Tauheed of Almighty Allah.

All the theological matters that have an intellectual basis are addressed in the most profound philosophical manner by Imam Ali (a.s) and thus ibn Abil Hadid, the Sunni Mutazilite commentator on Nahjul Balagha says that Imam Ali (a.s) was the first from among the Arabs to deal with these matters.

Our analysis of the Mission of the Prophethood and the need to recite the Ayaat of Allah does not end with the Prophet (sawa) and the Imams. We too have a responsibility to recite the Ayaat of Allah for others as the followers of Prophet (sawa) are described in Surah A’raf Verse 157 as:

??????????? ????????? ???? ???????????? ?????????

“Then those who believe in him (Muhammad), and honour him, and help him….”

In helping the Messenger, we have a responsibility to recite the Ayaat of Allah to others as well and inspire them to see the light of Islam.

Insha’Allah, in the Moulud programme on Monday 28 December 2015 when we commemorate the 17th Rabi-ul Awwal which co-incides with the birth date of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and Imam Saadiq (a.s), we will continue the discussion relating to the remaining aspects of the mission of the Prophet (sawa) which is purification, teaching the Kitab and Wisdom.

Second Khutbah

Today being 25 December is of course set aside by our Christian brethren to commemorate the birth of Jesus or Nabi Eesa (a.s) as we said earlier.

From the Quranic perspective we learn that in the mission of Nabi Eesa (a.s) that he came to rectify the corruption that had been made to the Torah and brought the Injeel. His life had great emphasis on moulding the ethical and moral side of human beings and he announced the future coming of Muhammad (sawa).

The Quran has an amazing approach in relation to Christians, while rectifying certain aspects of their Aqeedah by saying that God cannot be part of a trinity and Jesus cannot be the son of God, it simultaneously considers the Christians to be closest to the Muslims as a religion and addresses this group from the Abrahamic Faith Tradition as Ahlul Kitaab (or people of the Book).

With so much religious tolerance and respect in terms of our scriptures, it is blatantly obvious that the wars that are fought in the world today under the disguise of religion has nothing to do with religion.

If the exploiting of differences between Catholics and Protestants was an excellent tool for divide and rule in one part of the world at one point in time, then having Shia and Sunni at each other’s throats is an effective tool today which only serves the capitalists who seek to keep control of the world.

Their only interest is to seek and create a justification for continued war so that the armaments industry which is the life blood of certain economies and individuals remains alive.

Wars are continually being waged on different fronts, the one that we are most familiar with is the physical combat mainly happening in Muslim countries.

But wars are also being fought in controlling economies and financial markets and currency markets to keep us in slavery to the capitalist system.

And if we ever thought that this is a conspiracy theory, then we got a slight glimpse 2 weeks ago of who is in control of our economy. When the Minister of Finance was replaced, the markets went into a spin. And our president who is on record to take his own time to respond to controversial issues was forced to make a change after 3 days through an ultimatum given by the big banks in South Africa. And changing a Finance Minister within 3 days is indeed something historic.

Otherwise our currency would be reduced to nothing virtually overnight.

These very people who control the financial markets and our lives also need wars to exist in the world, as long as it’s not on their home ground.

And the moment it occurs on their home ground like in Paris, then the world must come to a standstill, but when more than 1000 people are massacred by the Nigerian army, and then it only receives minimal coverage.

One of the outstanding marks of the ulama of the school of Ahlul Bait (a.s) has been their determination to have dialogue with people from other groups, which is a mark of the Prophetic Sunnah. And through all of these massacres have sort to demonstrate that the Mercy of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) has a place for all.

And at the same time, the world should realise that as much as Nabi Eesa (a.s) was someone who moulded the ethical characters of his followers, he was a man who opposed oppression, and thus the government sought to kill him from which Almighty Allah miraculously saved him.

Let us pray for all the oppressed of the world, from Africa to the Middle East and Far East and globally and may these days of celebrating the Milad of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) renew within us a commitment to deen and to serve the oppressed of this world.

We are in the beautiful month of Rabi ul Awwal wherein we commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (sawa), the Mercy sent to the Universe.

And this year our Moulud celebrations coincide with the week in which our Christian brethren celebrate the birth of Jesus or Prophet Eesa (a.s) and this co-incidence should perhaps be explored in a positive way.

Hence you see from the side of political leaders like President Rouhani of Iran or Syed Nasrullah from Hizbullah in Lebanon or even certain mosques in Cape Town, that sincere greetings and best wishes are extended to the Christian community as well as they celebrate the birth of the one whom they follow.

Prophet Muhammad (sawa) is a Mercy unto the whole of mankind, or rather unto the universe. And as an expression of his Mercy, he is passionately only concerned with the spiritual and material well being of every human being and existing thing.

And into today’s khutbah, we will explore a small portion of that Mercy as we continue the series of lectures that we started on the 12th night of Rabi ul Awwal in relation to the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (sawa) wherein we also highlight how Imam Ali (a.s) is connected every step of the way to the Prophetic Mission.

We have already discussed how the sending of the Messenger is to complete the Proof of Almighty Allah over us and that after his passing away, the need for the proof of Allah over us remains and that the Imams who are the custodians of the Quran are then the Proofs of Allah over us, with Imam Ali (a.s) then having been the first such proof in a series of 12 Imams.

In addition to the Messenger being a Proof of Allah over us, we also said that the Messengership is a Lutf or Grace of Allah and special favour from Almighty Allah to us whose value we are not capable of enumerating. And just like the Messengership of Muhammad (sawa) is a special favour of Allah upon us, so is the institution of Imamate considered in Quranic terms to be “manna” or a special favour of Allah upon us.

Then we said that in the Mission of the Messenger, that the Quran outlines four very special outcomes as follows:

1.     He recites the signs of Allah to the people;

2.     He purifies them;

3.     He teaches them the Book; and

4. He teaches them the Wisdom.

And the reason why the first job of the Prophet (sawa) is “tilawah” or to “recite” the verses of the Quran is because it amounts to an appeal to one’s intellect.

We have said in previous lectures that the foundational capital of our intellect requires no proof – because it is already there. Like belief in the Law of Cause and Effect requires no proof, every human being intuitively understands it, believes in it and applies it in their daily lives.

The recognition of the Law of Non-contradiction requires no proof, our intellects recognise it without having to prove it.

Prophet (sawa) must recite the Ayaat of Allah to us because the Quran has an amazing intellectual appeal. And those who read the Quran as it aught to be read are bound to believe in it, nay their belief in it increases with every recital.

The Quran and ayaat of Allah appeals to our intellect in a variety of ways. And the Quran goes out of its way, in a sense, to make such appeal. It provides a variety of proofs so that everyone coming from a variety of backgrounds will connect to its intellectual appeal at different levels.

In aqeedah classes some of these proofs are dealt with in detail. But almost of them have a basis in the Quran itself.

1. If you look at the proof of the Discipline and Order in the universe, then the Quran makes reference in various places to reflect on the creation of Allah.

Look at the creation of various things. In Surah Ghashiyah from verse 17 onwards it says:

??????? ??????????? ????? ????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ?????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ?????????? ?????? ????????

??????? ????????? ?????? ????????

“Do they not look at camels, how they are created?
And at the Sky, how it is raised high?
And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm?
And at the Earth, how it is spread out?”

Reflect on this verse and you will see the proof of Discipline and Order of the Universe.

The camel is an animal that the Arabs could relate to. It has been created in a manner that made transport across the desert possible as it can go without water for three weeks.

And its knees has hard skin like callouses that make it possible to withstand the harsh heat of the sand of the desert when it kneels to sit down for its passengers to dismount.

And its skin acts like an air conditioner to keep its body cool in extreme hot or cold conditions.

And its eyelids protect it from the dessert storms.

And so on.

Or the creation of the bee. Have we ever considered how its possible that when most of creation eats food, it excretes waste afterwards, but the bee, after eating food, in addition to excreting waste like all of us, it also produces one of the most healthy and wholesome drinks called honey due to the design of its creation in that a bee has two stomachs, one to digest food and a second stomach called the honey stomach to manufacture honey.

Or ponder upon the creation of the ant or the elephant or the cow or the fly….all of whom are mentioned in Quran and others.

2. Or if you can’t relate to that then how about the proof of the Primary Mover.

When Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) articulates this Proof, he looks at the star in the sky and due to its greatness makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord. And similarly he looks at the moon and due to its greatness makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord. And similarly he looks at the sun and due to its greatness he makes an assumption – maybe this is My Lord.

But when he sees each one set, i.e. the star sets, the moon sets, the sun sets, then he says:

?? ??????? ??????????

“I like not those that disappear.”

Because for something to disappear, it had to move and if something moves, then it requires a mover.

But Ibrahim (a.s) is only willing to accept as his Lord, one who is the Primary Mover, one who moves everything else but Himself is not moved and thus says:

?????? ????????? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????????????? ?????????? ???????? ????? ?????? ???? ??????????????

“I have turned my Face (my entire existence) to Him who is the Originator of the heavens and the earth.”

And in our daily prayers it is even recommended to read this declaration of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) before we start our prayers.

3. Or if that proof is not appealing to you because it requires a bit of intellectual exercise (or like some who are deliberately not willing to apply their intellect call it mental gymnastics!), then the Quran calls upon all to reflect one of the best proofs that requires no proof at all as we naturally believe in it and that is the proof of cause and effect.

In Surah At-Tur Verse 35 it says:

??? ???????? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ?????????????

“Were they created out of nothing? Or were they themselves the creators? “

In other words are we an effect for which there is no cause? Or are we the cause of our own existence? This is one of the simplest and most profound of Ayaat that the Messenger is required to read to us as it has such a wide appeal.

4. And when the most obvious intellectual proof does not work, whereby you will use your free will to respond to the accurate guidance of your intellect in assessing the Ayaat of Allah, then the Quran even appeals to you to respond like you would respond when you have virtually no choice.

This is when the Ayaat of Allah pinches your deep nature and calls you to reflect on how you respond when you find yourself in a hopeless situation and at the brink of destruction.

So in Surah Ankabut Verse 65 it says:

??????? ???????? ??? ????????? ??????? ??????? ??????????? ???? ?????????

“And so, when they embark on a ship [and find themselves in danger], they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone”

This call upon Allah in time of danger or destruction is not necessarily raising your hands or going into sajda and saying “Oh Allah help me,” but it’s a yearning from the core of our existence and a call from the tongue of our nature and is thus done with absolute sincerity to some higher power to help you. And in the discussion on the reality of dua we said that dua which is made with absolute sincerity is responded to.

And in life everyone at some time felt like that….where we made a dua in desperation that was responded to.

So the Ayaat of Allah call upon us to reflect on how we react when we have no choice…..why do we yearn for help when on the face of it it should not be forthcoming? Because our nature recognises the existence of a higher power that it continually calls out to.

And various other proofs which appeal to our intellect are recited by the Prophet (sawa) to us.

The Quran is filled with scientific truths that have influence many famous people in history to have accepted Islam.

Dr Maurice Bucaille is one such famous person who was a surgeon and studied the Quranic text and the Bible and eventually became Muslim and wrote a book “The Bible, the Quran and Science.” And among various scientific proofs that he makes reference to in Quran, he even traces the body of Rameses II to be the Phirown from the time of Prophet Musa (a.s) through references which are only available in the Quran which he was able to trace to hieroglyphic records of Ancient Egypt.

And there are endless other examples of marine biologists, engineers and researchers who accepted Islam by reading these Ayaat of Allah in the Quran.

In executing his mission, Prophet (sawa) is the most passionate person you can imagine who wants to get through to you to the extent that if he had his way, then he would save every human being.

As clear as the proofs provided in the Quran are in relation to the existence of Allah and the Mission of Muhammad (sawa), there are those atheists and hypocrites who are so blind that they will rather place their bet on the illogical Unproven Theory of Evolution than the rational proof of God’s existence.

And out of sheer Mercy of Almighty Allah, when Prophet (sawa) recites the Ayaat of Allah to us, he even has an appealing message to these atheists.

That message is presented in the form of a bet which was coined around 400 years ago by a French philosopher to be called “Pascal’s Wager.”

What is “Pascal’s Wager”?

Blaise Pascal was someone who presented a proof by using probability theory which is commonly used in statistics today whereby he claimed that believing in God is simply in man’s best interest.

The most common version of Pascal’s wager is quickly summarized as follows:

“Either God exists or He does not exist.” Since reason is of no help (supposedly) in choosing between the two – and everyone must choose – reason itself demands that you consult your “happiness” and choose the option that holds the prospect of bringing greater happiness.

You compare the gains and losses that will flow from the two choices – either God exists or He does not exist – and choose the belief from which you expect to receive the greater gain. Let us suppose that you have placed a bet that God exists. In this case, “if you are correct and thus win you win everything, if you are wrong and thus lose the bet; you lose nothing or very very little which really are the few luxuries of this world.

But if you bet that God does not exist – and you are wrong, you lose everything.

Thus Pascal concludes, “Place your bet that God does exist.” Place your bet on God because the outcomes for believing are either superior to or no worse than those for disbelief.

Prophet (sawa) who is required to recite the ayaat of Allah to all of mankind is also required to appeal to the worst sceptics by reciting verses of the Quran which include the idea of Pascal’s Wager.

Thus in Surah Fussilat Verse 52:

???? ???????????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ???? ???? ??????? ??????? ???? ??? ??????? ???????

Say, “Have you considered: what if the Qur’an is from Allah and you disbelieved in it, who would be more astray than one who is in extreme dissension?”

This is the very basis of Pascal’s Wager. Because an atheist, by disbelieving in God, has actually made a choice to believe in the non-existence of God. And this choice is an irrational choice as the potential risk involved is not worth the extremely limited returns.

The tilawat of the ayaat of Allah caters for everybody, for different intellectual levels, from the greatest septic to the greatest of philosophers.

And in the recital of the Ayaat of Allah and the appeal to the intellect, after the Prophet (sawa), no one other than Imam Ali (a.s) is able to present these proofs in such a sublime manner.

And thus from very the first sermon of Imam Ali (a.s) in Nahjul Balagha you see the most philosophically sound and deep reflection on the Tauheed of Almighty Allah.

All the theological matters that have an intellectual basis are addressed in the most profound philosophical manner by Imam Ali (a.s) and thus ibn Abil Hadid, the Sunni Mutazilite commentator on Nahjul Balagha says that Imam Ali (a.s) was the first from among the Arabs to deal with these matters.

Our analysis of the Mission of the Prophethood and the need to recite the Ayaat of Allah does not end with the Prophet (sawa) and the Imams. We too have a responsibility to recite the Ayaat of Allah for others as the followers of Prophet (sawa) are described in Surah A’raf Verse 157 as:

??????????? ????????? ???? ???????????? ?????????

“Then those who believe in him (Muhammad), and honour him, and help him….”

In helping the Messenger, we have a responsibility to recite the Ayaat of Allah to others as well and inspire them to see the light of Islam.

Insha’Allah, in the Moulud programme on Monday 28 December 2015 when we commemorate the 17th Rabi-ul Awwal which co-incides with the birth date of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and Imam Saadiq (a.s), we will continue the discussion relating to the remaining aspects of the mission of the Prophet (sawa) which is purification, teaching the Kitab and Wisdom.

Second Khutbah

Today being 25 December is of course set aside by our Christian brethren to commemorate the birth of Jesus or Nabi Eesa (a.s) as we said earlier.

From the Quranic perspective we learn that in the mission of Nabi Eesa (a.s) that he came to rectify the corruption that had been made to the Torah and brought the Injeel. His life had great emphasis on moulding the ethical and moral side of human beings and he announced the future coming of Muhammad (sawa).

The Quran has an amazing approach in relation to Christians, while rectifying certain aspects of their Aqeedah by saying that God cannot be part of a trinity and Jesus cannot be the son of God, it simultaneously considers the Christians to be closest to the Muslims as a religion and addresses this group from the Abrahamic Faith Tradition as Ahlul Kitaab (or people of the Book).

With so much religious tolerance and respect in terms of our scriptures, it is blatantly obvious that the wars that are fought in the world today under the disguise of religion has nothing to do with religion.

If the exploiting of differences between Catholics and Protestants was an excellent tool for divide and rule in one part of the world at one point in time, then having Shia and Sunni at each other’s throats is an effective tool today which only serves the capitalists who seek to keep control of the world.

Their only interest is to seek and create a justification for continued war so that the armaments industry which is the life blood of certain economies and individuals remains alive.

Wars are continually being waged on different fronts, the one that we are most familiar with is the physical combat mainly happening in Muslim countries.

But wars are also being fought in controlling economies and financial markets and currency markets to keep us in slavery to the capitalist system.

And if we ever thought that this is a conspiracy theory, then we got a slight glimpse 2 weeks ago of who is in control of our economy. When the Minister of Finance was replaced, the markets went into a spin. And our president who is on record to take his own time to respond to controversial issues was forced to make a change after 3 days through an ultimatum given by the big banks in South Africa. And changing a Finance Minister within 3 days is indeed something historic.

Otherwise our currency would be reduced to nothing virtually overnight.

These very people who control the financial markets and our lives also need wars to exist in the world, as long as it’s not on their home ground.

And the moment it occurs on their home ground like in Paris, then the world must come to a standstill, but when more than 1000 people are massacred by the Nigerian army, and then it only receives minimal coverage.

One of the outstanding marks of the ulama of the school of Ahlul Bait (a.s) has been their determination to have dialogue with people from other groups, which is a mark of the Prophetic Sunnah. And through all of these massacres have sort to demonstrate that the Mercy of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) has a place for all.

And at the same time, the world should realise that as much as Nabi Eesa (a.s) was someone who moulded the ethical characters of his followers, he was a man who opposed oppression, and thus the government sought to kill him from which Almighty Allah miraculously saved him.

Let us pray for all the oppressed of the world, from Africa to the Middle East and Far East and globally and may these days of celebrating the Milad of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) renew within us a commitment to deen and to serve the oppressed of this world.

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