Delivered by Brother Bashier Rahim at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape TownK
MOWLANA IMRAAN NASSER HUSSAIN SAYS “SHIA HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MUSLIM”
1. We praise Almighty Allah, send salutations on his Beloved Messenger Muhammed (sawa) and his Purified Household and remind each other of the observance of Taqwa (God consciousness).
2. The ummah of Islam is very broadly divided into 2 major schools of thought….Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah, in short called the Sunni, and Shia Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) in short called the Shia. These 2 schools of thought existed during the life of the Prophet (sawa) himself when you had those who supported Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) and those who did not support him.
3. To reduce the impact of this reality, often it is said that Shiasm was started by a Jew called Abdullah ibn Sabah or it started after the Battle of Jamal or the Battle of Siffein when there were clearly 2 groups of supporters defined….those who supported Ali and those who fought Ali.
4. Or sometimes people say that Shiasm really only started after the Battle of Karbala, when Imam Hussain (a.s) was martyred and again those who supported Imam Hussain (a.s) were called the Shia and a subsequent movement in support of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) started giving more importance to Imam Ali (a.s) than others.
5. But none of these assumptions are true as the existence of supporters of Imam Ali (a.s) who were called Shiatu Ali ibn Abi Talib is traced back to the time of the Prophet (sawa) and his very sayings when the Prophet (sawa) is reported to have said in various ahadith of similar meanings which are recorded in Sunni and Shia books alike, one of which says: “O Ali, you and your Shia are the successful ones.”
6. These 2 schools of thought existed from the very beginning and they were and they are exactly that – two schools of thought within the ummah of Islam. Both schools of thought believe in Tauheed, in Risalat and Finality of the Prophethood of Muhammed (sawa) and the Accountability on the Day of Judgement. Belief in these 3 elements makes you Muslim and that is what both schools believe.
7. This fact of our common beliefs in the very same Usul ud-deen (Roots of Faith/Doctrine) creates certain rights and responsibilities between us, the most important of which is that our lives are sacred and that we must protect each other’s lives physically as well as the honour and dignity of every Muslim.
8. Throughout the history of Islam, Shia were never in power in the sense of wilayatul faqih or governance of the Jurist/Aalim. Yes, there may have been Shia dynasties in history like the Fatimids or the Safavids and others – e.g. Shah Reza Pahlavi in Iran himself claimed to be Shia, but never did you have a country ruled by Shia ulama like you have in the world today.
9. Throughout this period of just under 1400 years of Islam, the true Shia were always subjugated, persecuted, forced to practise taqiyya to protect their lives, and never really had the opportunity to truly openly share the message of Islam from the point of view of the Ahlul Bait (a.s).
10. Yet throughout these very same 1400 years when Shia were on the back foot, one does not see any clear, agreed upon fatwa by the ijmaa of the ulama of the Muslim world that Shia are not Muslim. You may have extremist elements who have always occasionally made these claims, but it is a fact that an agreed upon fatwa by the ijmaa of the recognised ulama of the Muslim world saying “Shia are not Muslim” does not exist. And consequently Shia and Sunni together have been performing Haj for over 1400 years without the Shia EVER being banned from Haj.
11. Mowlana Imraan Nasser Hussain is a world famous Sunni scholar from Trinidad and Tobago (who is a student of the world famous late Mowlana Fazlurrahman Ansari). Last week he said in a statement released on the internet wherein he seeks to bridge the gap between Sunni and Shia that Shia have always been considered Muslim, he praises the Iranian Revolution, he praises Imam Khomeini and he says “after 1400 years, it’s a bit late in the day to decide that Shia are not Muslim.” Of course he does not agree with our Theory of Imamate, but that’s a different discussion. And this is not the first time he makes this statement that Shia are Muslim for over 1400 years, he has been asked this questions many times in different parts of the world wherein he gives the same answer.
12. The fact that we are all Muslim, creates certain rights and obligations between us. It creates the need for us to realise that as a common front, we can confront the challenges that face the Muslim World.
13. And if only we understood this, the Muslim World would be light years ahead in terms of progress.
14. Despite all the self-imposed constraints, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. While religions like Christianity are witnessing declining numbers in Europe, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe. May I for a moment ask which version of Islam in Europe is the fastest growing? It’s Islam as propagated from the Sunni point of view. Yet it is something for us ALL to be collectively joyful and proud of.
SHIA POLITICAL POWER IN THE WORLD
15. The political developments in the Shia World has received the scrutiny of the enemies of Islam from outside and within for many years. It is a reality that we have to all face. That Shia political authority is firmly established and growing at a rapid pace….not to establish Shiasm, but to establish Islam. Why does it matter which version of Islam is established? It is the establishment of Islam which we should all be proud of, not the particular mathab within Islam.
16. But this reality is unfortunately a sore point for so many, including some local Muslims. When this reality cannot be denied, they resort to tactics, which have been resorted to historically and that is to propagate lies about this School of Thought in the most sensational fashion for one reason – to create fear in the hearts of people so that they will not set foot inside a Shia Mosque.
17. It is a type of superstition about Shiasm that is created that scares you off to even consider finding out for yourself. So much fear is created that people lose the ability to think.
18. That is because if a normal human being were to choose between what his emotions say to him and what his intellect says to him, he is MORE THAN LIKELY going to follow his emotions. This is a fact. It is a principle on which normal business marketing is based on. When you watch an advert on TV, what is it directed at? Your emotions. Why? Because most of the time people make decisions based on emotion, not on intellect.
19. Why does Quran say that people used to say to the Prophet (sawa) that “they will Worship what their forefathers use to Worship?” It is not because they don’t understand, but because it just “feels right emotionally” to do as your forefathers did.
20. And the Anti-Shia campaign is packed with emotional blackmail….to do as your forefathers did.
21. Many people fall for it, some people do not fall for it, yet do nothing about it. And some people actually go and verify these wild sensational claims to only discover that they were a bunch of lies.
LOGIC – THE INNER GUIDANCE
22. Quran is an invitation to think, to ponder, to investigate, to analyse, to learn, to make informed decisions, BASED ON LOGIC.
23. Why does Quran place so much emphasis on Logic? i.e. proper thinking? It is because Logic will take you to the truth. It is the MOST reliable tool to determine the truth of any argument.
24. And thus the Quran repeatedly makes statements like “Don’t you think” or “Don’t they ponder”, etc.
25. In various ahadith of the Prophet (sawa) and the Imams we learn that Almighty Allah has given every human being 2 forms of guidance, the inner guidance which is the intellect and the external guidance which are the Prophets, Messengers and Guides throughout time, who came to guide mankind.
26. And this emphasis that Logic, is considered an inner guidance to ALL human beings is for a very specific reason, and that is that EVERY human being has the ability to apply Logic, and true Logic cannot be deceived….by applying Logic properly, you will always discover the truth. But it will only be effective, if you apply Logic independent of your emotions. As long as Logic is mixed with our emotions, the answer we come to may be blurred.
27. Why is Logic reliable may I ask? It is because Logic is the science that teaches us to think properly. That science that teaches us to come to an accurate conclusion when thinking properly. It is that science which uses as its BASE CAPITAL concepts that are TRUE that require NO PROOF…..these TRUE concepts requiring no proof are then used to prove the unknown and to come to an accurate answer regarding the unknown.
28. So the foundational capital of Logic is concepts like:
· Non-contradiction….does this have to be proven? No. Why not? Because the human being has never seen contradiction in reality. I may be delivering this lecture in this centre today 5 December 2014 at 1pm. If someone alleges that they saw me at this time in another place like Durban, it’s a contradiction which we all accept is an IMPOSSIBILITY.
· Every effect needs a cause. Does this have to be proven? No. Why not? Because the human being has never seen something come into existence without a cause.
· The half is smaller than the whole. Does this have to be proven? No. Why not? Because the human being has never seen half of something being greater than the whole.
· And so on
29. These concepts, which are accepted as true are the foundational capital of Logic as it is coded into every human being’s soul and hence called the inner guidance that Allah has given EVERY human being. It is a guidance that cannot be denied.
30. However, even though all human beings apply Logic every day in their lives, they still make mistakes in the application of Logic as not all human beings always decipher the different manners in which an argument is presented.
31. It is in the application of Logic that we sometimes err……and err badly to the extent that we come to the wrong conclusion and deceive ourselves or even deceive others intentionally. It is not Logic itself which is unreliable….Logic is most reliable as it is a God-given Inner Guidance.
32. What do I mean when I say we sometimes err in the application of Logic? An argument can be presented in 3 ways:
· Deduction (Qiyas)
· Analogy (Tamtheel)
· Induction (Istiqraa)
33. Deduction is the process whereby we take a set of sound general principles to come to a particular conclusion.
34. Induction on the other hand (which is the scientific method of argument and also an acceptable method of argument) is whereby you examine a particular set of circumstances to come to a general conclusion.
35. Analogy on the other hand is a method whereby an argument is presented by applying a similar set of circumstances to another similar set of circumstances and then based on the commonalities that exist between the 2 sets of circumstances or things, we come to a conclusion.
36. So argument is presented in these 3 ways – deduction, induction and analogy.
37. Within deduction, NOT all arguments presented in this manner are 100% reliable. Only 1 out of 5 types of deduction are reliable and that is called BURHAAN or PURE PROOF where your argument WILL achieve knowledge which is CERTAIN.
38. It is with reference to this aspect of Logic, whereby deduction (which uses the foundational capital of Logic found within all of us) is presented in the form of BURHAAN (Pure Proof) that Quran instructs the Prophet (sawa) to argue with the people in Surah Baqarah, Surah Naml and various other places in Quran when it says:
قُلْ هَاتُواْ بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
“Say, bring your BURHAAN (pure proof), if you are TRUTHFUL”.
39. In other words, Quran establishes that BURHAAN (pure proof) leads you to the haq/truth and that ability to reach the truth is within ALL of us.
40. But otherwise, using the same method of deduction, an argument can be presented in a manner that does not necessarily take you to the truth. For example:
· Debate….even though this is a form of argument based on the method of deduction…..the purpose of debate is NOT to necessarily know the truth but only to show the weakness in your opponent….people listening to the debate may think that if someone lost the debate that he is thus on BAATIL/Falsehood….that is not necessarily true….so don’t be taken in by debates
· Oratory – this is also a form of argument based on the method of deduction, but the purpose of an orator is only to please his listeners – it is not necessarily to present them with the truth….So don’t assume that a good orator (of which there are hundreds in this world) are on the Haq/Truth….don’t be blindly taken in by their great oratory skills
· Deception – the overt purpose of deception is to actually deceive the listener by presenting a false argument in the form of deduction!
41. Notice, in the case of debate and oratory I use the words “their purpose is not necessarily to know the truth”….as debates and oratory are sometimes an expression of the truth….but not always.
42. The form of argument that the anti-Shia sentiment and sensational propaganda is based on is sometimes in the form of a Debate…..have you seen how many debating platforms pop up like mushrooms every day? It’s sometimes in the form of Oratory. Do you hear speakers stirring up you emotions saying “If Shia want Unity, why is there No Shia Mosque in Tehran….and then to cover himself he will say “I am not saying Iran, I am saying Tehran.” What is the purpose of this kind of oratory other than to stir up the emotions of people the wrong way?
43. And it’s a mixture of pure deception. To take a fatwa of Imam Khomeini and to mistranslate it and say Imam Khomeini promotes sexual crimes (which he never ever did) is nothing but intentional deception of people. And the deceivers will be answerable on the Day of Judgement.
44. And then the form of argument that they forever also stuck in is the issue of Analogy. Need I say more, that the one who was first cursed by Allah for the misguided application of Analogy was Iblees himself. When he looked at Adam (a.s) he thought Adam should actually have been asked to bow down to him instead of the other way round.
45. The analogy that is used to stir up almost every one’s emotions is the issue of mutah or temporary marriage which the School of Ahlul Bait (a.s) believe is permissible based on an explicit verse from Quran….what better BURHAAN or Pure Proof is there than Surah Nisa verse 24 which directs how Mutah must be practised?? But the nay sayers say that Mutah is “similar” to the manner in which “alcohol” was prohibited. You are already lost when you start your argument like that “it can be compared to the prohibition of alcohol”…..that argument is based on Analogy which is SOMETIMES right and SOMETIMES wrong….just ask Iblees whether it worked for him?
46. But it appeals to emotion….and that is why they use it to stir up the sentiments of people. Yet when you bring your BURHAAN or proof, Mutah is proven with absolute certainty that it is permissible and it is the so-called proof of impermissibility that stands on VERY SHAKY grounds.
47. And so many so-called arguments are presented in this way….by way of Analogy to prove the most outrageous of allegations. I advise everyone to measure every argument in light of our God given capability to exercise our intellect properly.
48. My point in this whole lecture is that Logic is part of our fitra and inner nature. One can mislead people for only so long, before this fitra gets re-awakened. Followers of the School of Ahlul Bait (a.s) throughout history never felt threatened about their faith no matter what price they had to pay to maintain it. It is because it is a School of Thought that has Logic as it’s very basis.
49. And any School of Thought, if it is based on Logic, should feel confident in what it believes and its adherents have no need to become vulgar, ill-mannered and disrespectful towards those who understand Islam different to them.
50. The time has really come for us to look beyond the fitna and come to the realisation of how ridiculous we have become and how weak we consequently choose to be.
51. I conclude this khutbah with the reminder of Taqwa and God consciousness in everything we do, especially in the maintaining of relations between fellow Muslims.