On Jihad

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani


 Khutbat al-Jum`uah, September 11, 1998

Oh Believers! Oh Muslims! Oh Mu`mins! Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur`an, Laa ikraha fid Din. That you cannot pressure anyone to accept you or your religion. If they like to acccept it, it's up to them. If they don't like to accept it, it's up to them. And you cannot force anyone to accept what you accept. But you can give them the da'wah, you can give them the information, you can give them the knowledge. So if we Muslims or non-Muslims, as long as we are in a situation that makes us connected through our hearts with what we believe, then it will make a big change in the whole universe. Allah sent Prophet (s) to tell people, "This is Islam. Fadhakkir innama anta mudhakkir. "Remind people; that is your job". Al-ballaagh: to give your message, but not to fight.

You have no right to fight. Because people are Allah's creation. God created them. Allah (swt) created everyone. And you might not know their hearts. Their hearts might be like your heart. Who knows, maybe one day they will accept Islam. So the Prophet (s) came with da'wah, the message of Allah (swt) to the whole universe. He didn't fight anyone. He was by himself calling to God. Calling to Allah (swt).  Never did he draw a sword against anyone for thirteen years in Mecca. Never did the Prophet (s) raise a sword against anyone. He was tortured along with all his Companions. Yet his message was only to remind people. Telling people what they are obliged to do, with a message which Allah sent to the Prophet (s), revealed to the Prophet (s), a message of Love. Why did Allah send Islam to humanity? Why did Allah send Judaism to humanity, with Moses (as)? Why did Allah send the Bible with Jesus (as)? Why did Allah send all these prophets? What is the reason? To fight people? To kill each other?  Is this the message of heavens?

The message of heavens is "Oh My Servants, I love you. I want the best for you because I created you. I love you! You are my creation, you are not my enemy." When you are the lovers of God, of Allah (swt), that's what Allah wants from humanity. He sent them messengers to tell them, "You are going to be rewarded. This is the way. Follow it, you will find guidance. If you don't follow it, you are not going to be guided. You will be dry!" Heavenly messages are not dry. Heavenly messages bring peace, bring love, bring compassion, bring emotions, bring courage, bring bravery, bring all kinds of good manners. Worldly messages, worldly violence, brings hatred, brings enmity, brings fighting, brings confusion.

For what? Everyone is dying, one day, perhaps tomorrow you are dying. It might be this second and we won't go one step before dying. How many people died in their sajda - in prostration to God? How many people died when they were praying? How many people died in hajj? You don't know how long you'll live. It is a short time, it might be one second. So what is the benefit. Running, running, running, running. Never ending, and everyone fighting, for what?

The reality of this world

It is said in the athar, the Islamic traditions, that dunya - this worldly life - is like a dead flesh, a corpse. It's very smelly. And the only customers, the only ones running after it, are dogs. Dogs or animals run after something stinking. You are not an animal. You are a human being. Allah perfected us. Why are we running after these things, and building these skyscrapers, and building businesses, computers. O - you are going to fail! All technology! In the year 2000, everything's going to stop. You are failing. No more technology. Ask technical people. Like one person here who is writing an article in the Muslim Magazine about technology, saying that everything is going to fall apart. 50 billion chips around the world. All are connected with each other. The whole system is going to fail. You are not going to find food! And people are running. Not thinking. And Allah said, Iqttarabat is-sa'at, wanshaq al-qamr - "the Day of Resurrection is approaching and the Moon split". And the signs for it have been given to us and shown to us and still we are running after this dunya, even as Muslims. How much can we make tomorrow?! How many people can we cheat tomorrow, and fill our pockets?!

So there is one important factor that we are missing in Islam. It is not Islam that is missing that factor. As Muslims we are not looking at it. That us spirituality! When everyone is inclined, and indoctrinated with materialism, materialism, materialism, materialism, he completely FORGETS about spirituality. And it doesn't mean anything to him anymore, spirituality in Islam. And his focus is only on what he can see, not what really exists. What really exists you cannot see. Belief in God you cannot see.

Can you see here, computer people (masha`Allah, we have big technology going on) - can you see anything here except yourselves? But in reality there are a lot of things here, moving. Isn't it true? Think of computers. Isn't it true? Many electromagnetic waves, many energy waves are traveling in space. I was reading an article that was saying that Holy Qur`an mentioned scientific signs, in this universe. That everything is variable, not constant. Except, the only constant in this world, in this whole universe around us is the speed of light. And everything else is not constant, it is variable, it changes. And all of you know that. Many physicists know that.

Light is made from energy. That energy is the source of spirituality. You cannot see it but it is there, existing. Energy without a body, a mass, cannot exist. They have to have a balanced equation between them. So Islam is not is a dry material that everyone will begin to shout, and begin to criticize, and begin to complain, and say jihad, jihad, jihad, jihad, which we are hearing around the WHOLE UNIVERSE! Before we do jihad, we have to do da'wah.

The essence of faith

Prophet (s), Allah sent him to be a da'ee -- teaching people. Beginning with yourself, build yourself up. You cannot go and kill anybody without a reason. He might be better than you. We have to build ourselves up: our belief, our 'aqida, and that's where we are missing the whole part. Look at Sayyidina 'Ali (r). When Sayyidina 'Ali had a pain in his teeth, and he had to take out his teeth. Sayyidina 'Ali is the fourth Khalifa of the Muslimeen, Companion of Prophet (s), and the son-in-law of Prophet (s). When he had a toothache, when he had a pain in his tooth, what did he say to his people when they said 'let's take out your tooth'? He said, "No!" Now when you go to the dentist, and you remove your teeth, what do you do? They give you an anaesthetic, they numb you, so that you will not feel the pain. Why do we feel the pain? Because we are drugged! We have no heavenly connections. If we have heavenly connections, we don't feel the pain. If we have enough training, we won't feel the pain. So to extract the teeth, they have to numb you. But Sayyidina 'Ali (ra), what did he say to them? He said, "When I am praying, take out my teeth, because at that time my heart is in the presence of my Lord, my focus, my complete love and concentration is on the one that created me. No harm to anyone. Everything I believe, I am focusing in the way of Allah (swt) for the benefit of humanity. TAKE out my teeth then!"

That is the Islamic connection. That is the spirituality that we are losing. That's why he didn't feel the pain. So when they took out his teeth and he finished his prayer, they were looking at him and he was looking at them, and he said, "What happened, when are you going to take out my teeth?" They said, "We already did." There was no pain, he did not feel it. Because his connection was with Allah (swt).

When your connection is with Allah you don't feel pain, you don't feel any hatred, any enmity to anyone. And that's why the Prophet (s), though he was tortured for many many years in Mecca, he never complained.

His neighbor was an unbeliever who used to harm him. Yet the Prophet (s) never said one word to rebuke that neighbor for seven long years. When that neighbor was dying, the Prophet (s) came to see that neighbor and to ask him to come to Islam. Look at the spirituality, the love. How much did Prophet (s) give from his life? How much do we have to give from our lives for loving people, and calling them to the way of Allah (swt)? Oh Muslims! In this life, we have a big challenge in this world. Allah is testing us. Are we going to be dry-minded? Or are we going to be open-minded. Allah gave Muslims an opportunity to guide people into love and surrender to Allah (swt), and that will make their communities very well-connected. Islam focusses on communities, focusses on the whole nation as a unit. Islam cannot be divided, Muslims cannot be divided. They must be unified under one leadership, which is Islam, under one belief, which is the belief of the Prophet (s) and the sunnah of Prophet (s).

Jihad - its essential steps

I would like to read for you the translation of some verses of Holy Qur`an in English, because it's very important to see how much Islam is asking us to be in the right way. "Invite all to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preachings, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for thy Lord knows best who has strayed from the path and who received guidance.."[16, 125] So Allah ordered Prophet (s) to call people for their best. We are ordered to call people for the best, not to go and fight. Imam Nawawi, what did he say in his book when he was asked about jihad? He said jihad is da'wah. Jihad is to call people to the good, not to the bad. To call people to Allah (swt). And Imam Ad-Dardir, one of the famous muhaddiths in his time, when he was asked about jihad, said "Jihad is to build a big community of industries, businesses, sciences, Islamic sciences, Islamic teaching, building a good dialog between each other, with Muslims and non-Muslims." That is jihad.

Allah didn't allow jihad to kill people without a reason. Jihad is, Prophet (s) said, "Our message, is to call people to Islam." And even if there is one non-Muslim coming to you, protect him. But when people take your homes, take your countries, then jihad has to be implemented. But in the beginning it must be dialog, beginning with constructive arguments, not to spill the blood of people who don't even know what's going on. So Muslims are going to face big problems soon.

We have to open our minds. You are Muslims living in this country. This country has opened its hands, its territory for all nations. You can say whatever you like. I cannot say whatever I like in my country. You cannot say whatever you like in your country. Take any country in the Middle East or Far East. Can anyone say anything? The next day you will be in jail. Here Allah gave you the opportunity to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims, and to attract them to Islam. This is our message, and this is our religion. And Allah said, "Let there arise out of you a band of people, inviting to all that is good, [not to invite to all that is bad], enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. And these are those who shall be successful." And Allah said to Prophet (s), "Remind them, for you are only a reminder." And Allah said to his Prophet (s), "Obey Allah, and obey the messenger, and beware of evil. If you do turn back, they know that it is our messenger's duty to proclaim the message in the clearest manner." And Allah said, "If one amongst the pagans asked you for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah, and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge." It means they have no knowledge about your religion. They don't know how peaceful your religion is. You cannot criticize and be negative. But you have to tell them, advise them, and tell them about your religion. Give them the knowledge. Then escort them, wherever they like.

Spirituality - the heart of Islam

Oh Muslims, when we turn our faces to materialism, all these good manners, and all these forms of good dialogue, constructive dialogue will be veiled from our eyes, and Shaytan will play with us. So our Iman must be strengthened. It's not only that we pray the five prayers and come for Juma'a prayers, and perform our hajj, and pay our donations, zakat. This is the Muslim duty. The Muslims' duty is to build up their spirituality. It's to build up their iman, to build up the station of ihsan, the perfect station that Allah (swt) has mentioned through Sayyidina Jibril when Angel Jibril, Gabriel asked Prophet (s) about religion and Prophet (s) mentioned that religion was in three divisions. And he said first, al-Islam, which is shahadatul 'an La ilaha Illallah, wa iqamas Salah wa ita`u zakah wa sawmu Ramadan wa hajjul bayt  man istata`a ilayhi sabeela - to testify that there is no god except Allah to establish the prayers to pay the zakat to fast Ramadan and to perform the pilgrimage if one is able. Then he asked him about iman and he said, an tu`minu bil Lah wa mala`ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa bi yawmul akhira wa bi qadiri, khairihi wa sharrihi - to believe in God and His Angels and His Books and His messngers and in the Day of Judgment and in Destiny, its Good and its Bad.

And then Jibreel (as) asked him about IHSAN! The state of perfection, the state of excellence. OH MUSLIMS! WHERE IS THAT STATE IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY NOW? THE STATE OF SPIRITUALITY?! TO WORSHIP ALLAH AS IF YOU ARE SEEING HIM. If you are not seeing him he is seeing you. Oh Muslims! How can you go and fight when you yourse do not believing in fighting? You might be fighting for a benefit a personal benefit. You might be fighting for personal leadership. You might be fighting for a chair, to sit in it. You might be supporting a political regime for their ideas, but their ideas may be WRONG! You might be cheating and deceiving yourself about all these things, but Allah is seeing you, and when you become aware of that, that is the state of excellence. Perfection. You have to know what you are doing, because Allah is seeing you. You cannot go blindly. There must be something in your heart, like Sayyidina 'Ali, when he asked people to take the tooth from his mouth, he didn't feel the pain because his heart was with Allah (swt), in the presence of Allah (swt).

Keep your hearts full of life and energy. Life is not only eating, drinking, sleeping and working. There is something more. There Allah's saying,  "Anna jaleesu man dhakaranee." "I am beside that one who remembers Me." REMEMBER YOUR LORD EVERY MOMENT! "ALLADHEENA YADHKUROON ALLAHA QIYAAWMAN WA QU`OODAN WA   'ALA JUNOOBIHIM, wa yatafakkaruna fi khalq is-samawati wal ard." Those who remember Allah (swt) during the daylight, standing, sitting, laying down" - they are remembering Allah (swt). Not remembering Shaytan. Not affiliating themselves with foreign countries, but affiliating themselves with Allah (swt) and His message. Oh Muslims, affiliate yourselves with the Prophet (s), because he is the shafi' - the intercessor, the intervenor, he is the one through whom Allah is going to save humanity -- for his sake -- on Judgment Day, with his shafa'a.

Allah (swt) said to us, "Wa Rahmati wasi'at kulla shay," - "My Mercy encompasses everything". If Allah doesn't love us, why does His Mercy encompass us? If Allah doesn't love us, why does He forgive us? Wattbi'us sayyi'at al-hasanata tamhuha. The Prophet (s) said,  "when you do something wrong, immediately follow it with something good, it will erase what was wrong". Oh Muslims! We have such a Merciful Creator, who created us, and we don't know when we are going to die and meet with Him - called to His Presence -- let us build our hearts, let us build our future. Let us build our nation. Let us show our children, and Muslims and non-Muslims, the love of Islam, and the spiritual message of Islam, that all human beings have been created and Allah (swt) is the Judge. We are not the judge for humanity, but we are His sincere servants, to follow the message that was revealed to Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

Aqulu qawli hadha, wa astaghfir-Ullah al-Adhim wa lakum wa li sa`ir al-mustaghfirin fa ya fawza bil mustaghfirin. Astaghfirullah.

Alhamdulillah. Hamd al kamilin wa salat wa salam 'ala Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa 'ala Alihi was Saahbihi 'ajma'in.

Salah on Prophet (s) is the most important matter after prayers. Because it will give you the reward that Allah has promised us, what... Whoever sends greetings on Prophet (s) one time, Allah prays and sends greeting on you ten times. Oh Muslims, pray on your Prophet (s). Sallu 'ala an Nabi. Allahumma salli wa sallim wa baarik `alayh. Don't be shy. Don't say it only inside your mouth. Let everyone hear it! Because if you hear it, then people can witness on you that you have made salawat on Prophet (s), Sallu 'alan Nabi (s)!

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