Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Modern Civilization

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Modern Civilization
– by Imam Al-Haramain Sheikh Saud ash Shuraim
from the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Jumadal Akhirah 14, 1423AH (August 23rd ,2002)

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

Fear Allah and be dutiful to Him. Call yourselves to account before you are called to it. Today is the time for good deeds, for death comes after that where there will not be an opportunity to do any work.

“Be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

Brethren in faith! In the Year of Conquest which is the 8th year of Hijrah, the Messenger of Allah entered Makkah with calmness and tranquility, gallantly and victoriously; while reciting the word of Allah,

“Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish.” (Surah Al Isra’ 17:81)

He entered the Sacred Mosque, took the Key of Kaaba from ‘Uthman bin Talhah and then sat in the mosque. Ali bin Abu Talib came to him while he was holding the Keys of Kaaba and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Give us the custody of the Keys of Kaaba in addition to the office of water supply. May Allah bestow peace on you.” The Messenger of Allah did not answer him, but instead said, “Where is ‘Uthman bin Talhah?” When he was called for him, he said, “Take your Keys, O ‘Uthman! For this day is the day of fulfillment of obligations and righteousness.” The Prophet then went out reciting the Word of Allah,

“Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.” (Surah Al Nisa’ 4:58)

Allahu akbar! This great victory over disbelief, oppression and transgressors, did not make the Prophet forget that he was sent with justice and equality. It is by this justice that distinguished this Ummah among other nations.

Allah says,

“Thus We have made you (true Muslims) a just (and the best) nation.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:143)

Almighty Allah enjoins justice and praises the just, and forbids injustice and condemns the unjust in more than 350 verses in His Book.

Fellow Muslims! Justice is the balance on the earth and injustice is nothing but a tool of destruction of all that lives on the earth. The greatest manifestation of injustice on the earth is aggression and oppression and the worst form of oppression is shedding of innocent blood, causing mischief on the land, transgressing and barbaric persecution of the weak at the hand of the strong.

Justice in the glittering contemporary civilization, like its other values, is defined by relativity and applied with double standard by those who are non-Muslims. But in Islam, justice is an absolute value in which there is no relativity. In Islam, justice is a quality that should be applied to Muslims and non-Muslims alike; to friend and foe; to peace partner or war opponent.

All this is in accordance with the saying of Allah,

“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Surah Al Nisa 4:135)

Ibn Kathir said, “Maintaining justice is required of everybody at all situations.”

This is supported by the saying of Allah,

“And let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram lead you to transgress.” (Surah Al Mai’dah 5:2)

In this verse, Allah forbids the Muslim from treating enemies unjustly.

It is here that Islamic orientation for all Muslims worldly manifests throughout their history regardless of wartime or peacetime. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “If the believer overwhelms and becomes victorious, he treats his opponents with justice and kindness and he is conquered, he perseveres and hopes for reward.” Ka‘b bin Zuhayr rendered a poem in front of the Messenger of Allah in which he said,

They do not over-rejoice when their spears hit the targets;
And they do not become sad if they are defeated.

An Arab man was asked about some qualities of the Prophet and he answered, “I saw that when he won he did not become ostentatious and when he was defeated, he did not become sad.” Those who are called freed-men of Quraysh were not called so but for the fact that the Prophet told them at the peak of his victory, after they had expelled him and persecuted his companions, “You can go, for you are freed.”

Brethren in faith! It is in the light of showing the essence of justice and its natural application in these contemporary days that we want to make a comparison between the behaviour of Muslim soldiers in their wars and that of non-Muslim soldiers including the soldiers of modern civilization. This shall be discussed in the light of six times that Palestine has been exposed to wars in the past 2,000years.

Palestine has been exposed to Persian invasion that burned down the region, killed its ruler and desecrated its holy places. In less than ten years, the Byzantines also invaded the region, defeated the Persians and took revenge on them and the Jew who supported them in a most cruel form. In this case, the Byzantines were not less barbaric than their predecessors.

After about ten years, the Muslims won the city and entered it victoriously. They did not shed any blood, nor looted any property or killed any old man, woman or child. The popular ‘Umar document was then issued. Whoever reads this document and sees the justice, magnanimity and impartiality that it contained, he would not think that it was between a victorious army and a defeated one.

After some centuries, the crusaders invaded Baitul-Maqdis and conquered its inhabitants who were mostly Muslims. But what were the war manners of these invading warriors? This was summed up in a statement said by the leader of that crusade that their horses were wading through the blood of Muslims. Another European historian narrated the war saying, “The crusaders had invaded the streets of Baitul-Maqdis harvesting souls of men, women, old people and little children until the number of the killed reached 10,000.”

In less than a century, the army of Salahuddin decisively defeated the crusaders in the Battle of Hittin and the gates of Baitul-Maqdis were opened for the Muslims who entered the city victoriously and gallantly while they demonstrated a high sense of magnanimity, justice and mercy in times of war. The western historians were even forced to admit and praise that.

Then came another calamity and blind barbarity in the second half of the last century when the army of European mandate entered Palestine along with Jewish soldiers. The Jews committed massacres and different forms of barbarism and hostilities, most heinous of which was the famous Deir Yasin massacre and which was described by one of the perpetrators in his words:

“This operation has had great results. The Palestinians had become appalled by the news of what happened in Deir Yasin and started fleeing in terror and none remained of them but only about 150,000 after they had been more than 800,000.”

This butcher then said, “Had it not been Deir Yasin massacre, Israel would not have come to existence.”

According to the views of modern civilization, this atrocious act did not contradict the concept of justice. That was why this criminal was awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

This comparison between the behaviour of Muslim armies and that of non-believing armies confirmed the assertion of one of the greatest historians of modern civilization, that human history had not seen conquerors more compassionate than Muslims. Thus, the Muslims were always the victims of every aggression and hostility and they have never been known as transgressors even in modern history. In Palestine, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and other nations, the citizens of those countries were never the aggressors, it was rather the colonialists who claimed to be masters of modern civilization who were aggressors. It is however saddening that these masters of modern civilization were able to exploit the Muslims’ forgetfulness, their weak sense of history and lack of understanding the situations and concept of justice in the views of the advocates of the so-called modern civilization. If not so, how could they call the armed resistance against transgressors in some Muslims states resistance movements and suddenly within a twinkle of an eye start labeling these same struggles as terrorism that must be uprooted?

Fellow Muslims! Modern civilization drew for itself an industrial and technological shape that is devoid of piety, proper concept of mutual compassion and human justice in the least. It therefore turned to an arrogant and repressive civilization that abandons kind arguments for wars. They made their evil inclinations feared and disregarded the rights of others. They only wanted these colonized lands independent areas where their citizens will serve them and toil in order to make the colonizers happy. That was why the military revolutions were made to succeed by the modern civilization so that most part of the Muslim world would continue to suffer all kinds of political and economical oppressions; a situation that has turned security in most of these lands into a mere mirage.

It is also of no doubt that, the less resurgent the Muslims are, the more they wallow in this mirage.

Allah says,

“For if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion; and in that case, you will never be successful!” (Surah Al Kahf 18:20)

It is because of this, that many aspects of the history of this civilization is red with shed blood of many victims; for it killed nations that wanted freedom and deprived them of means of knowledge, power and growth.

Brethren in faith! Do not be deluded by the slogans of brotherhood, justice and freedom of religion that the modern civilization makes between now and then. They have actually explained these slogans to the whole world except the Muslims; and if there was a need to explain them to Muslims, it has to be on the condition that man relinquishes the honour of being ruler on the earth, with dual purpose of worshipping Allah and establishing justice on the earth. If there must be more explanation, it should be on the fact that, Islam should be made to sit on the fence and support whatever they want. But that the religion should support the human rights and command people to enter into the religion of peace entirely, that should not be, because, Islam according to them, should be kept from the public life as far as possible. As for other religions, nations should be allowed to be established on their names. That is why their civilization welcomes the idol worshippers with heartfelt regards and all pleasures. By your Lord, what kind of civilization is this?!

In view of the above, correct is what the experts in international relations said that, all these behaviours are only based on the concept of national interest or like inter-relationship between highway robbers. And the guarantees that the international treaties on justice represent are only implemented if Muslims or Arabs are not involved. But if a Muslim or an Arab country is involved, the matter will be given a different colour. All these unjust activities performed by the so-called modern civilizations cause some wise men among them to warn their people against the consequences of these behaviours. Will the Muslims then understand? It is however of the way of Allah to let this civilization reap what it has sowed and taste what it reaps for no bird flies and goes up except that it lands at last.

Allah says,

“And a disaster will not cease to strike those who disbelieved because of their (evil) deeds or it settles close to their homes, until the Promise of Allah comes to pass. Certainly, Allah breaks not His Promise.” (Surah Al Ra’d 13:31)

Brethren in Islam! The witness to the situation of modern civilization will realize that its perversion in its concept of justice is natural because its very spirit is based on selfishness, aggression, urge for power and a desire to destroy. Nothing testifies to this more than what this civilization has produced of weapons of mass destruction and the amount spent on that that was far more than the whole world’s food expenditure. It is also a well-known fact that one of the nations of this civilization has produced weapons that are capable of destroying the whole of the third world and three times its size. Few decades ago, one of these superpowers had thrown truckloads of poisonous gases into the oceans when it saw that it was capable of destroying the whole world six times.

Fellow Muslims! It is enough a surprise that the claimant of this civilization could be so vicious as to possess the weapons that are capable of destroying the whole world. This is sheer arrogance and transgression. What is the sin of the whole world to be threatened of destruction? Are the world wars in which millions of people died not enough lesson from this perverted imagination?

Brethren in Islam! Our aim is not to deride modern civilization by exposing its evils. The purpose is actually greater than that; for many in different Muslim lands have been influenced by the slogans and glitters of this civilization to the extent that we see of them justifying the injustices and aggressions perpetrated by these so-called civilized nations and they also glorify their double standard in applying the concept of justice. What is required is to acquaint the Muslims with the false concept of justice and let them understand the actual meaning of justice according to this civilization.

This is therefore the responsibility of every sector of the Muslims which they owe to their Lord and that is by correcting the situation through sincere return to Allah and by introducing the real Islam in aspects of education. We must also nurture the growing Muslims on proper usage of media so that Muslims may stand firm against the waves of fake modern civilization, that truth cannot be overwhelmed and that falsehood cannot be turned to truth because it is backed by a political power, for the atrocities committed by Pharaoh were not turned to virtues because he possessed a power to kill and spare at will.

The criterion for goodness is how closer one is to Allah. We must also face this deplorable situation and know the hidden motives of our enemies before we are destroyed spiritually, historically and militarily. Though the enemies would want to build their glory on our destruction, that would not be possible, because falsehood never overwhelms the truth and because other predecessors had went through similar situations like our present ones and came out victorious, after they had reformed themselves and genuinely reformed their relationships with their Lord.

“And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not.” (Surah Yusuf 12:21)

Insha Allah, a time will come when real justice and equality will fill the land as it is filled now with injustice and perversion.

“Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3 :196-197)