Philosophy Of Ghaybah 10/14 - Imam Mahdi (AJ) and ISIS p.1

A'udhubillahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem. Bismillah ir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil 'aalameen, Al-Hamdulillah il-ladhee hadaanaa lihaadha, wa maa kunna linahtadiya law laaa ann hadaana Allah (7:43), wassalaatu wassalamu 'ala ashrafil anbiyai wal mursaleen, khaatim in-nabiyeen, sayedin il-mumajjad, basheerin il-musaddaq, al-mustafal amjad mahmudil Ahmad, abil Qasimi Muhammad [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Wa 'ala ahli bayti at-tayyibeen at-tahireen al-ma'sumeen, wa la'natullahi 'ala al-dhalimeena, minal-awwaleena wal akhireen. Amma ba'ad, faqad qal Allahu subhana wa ta'ala fi Kitabih il-Majeed, wa Furqanih il-Hameed, wa qawluh ul-haqq, Bismillahir Rahmanin Raheem, "Wa lammaa jaaa'ahum Kitabum min 'indil laahi musaddiqul limaa ma'ahum, wa kaanoo min qablu yastaftihoona 'alal ladheena kafaroo falammaa jaaa'ahum maa 'arafu kafaru bih; fa la'natul laahi 'alal kaafireen"(2:89). Aamanallah billah. Sadaqa Allahu al-Ali ul-Adheem. Salawat ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Awaited Saviour of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, alayhi assalam, my respected teachers, elders, brothers and sisters, assalam 'alaykum jamee'un wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh [wa aleykum assalam,wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu].

Our discussions concerning the philosophy of the ghayba of the Awaited Saviour of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], has allowed us to discuss the concept of the Imam, alayhi assalam, as part of his mission uprooting evil, ignorance and immorality from its very sources.

Yesterday, we spoke about the methodology that would affect the illegal and illegitimate state of Israel. We found within the traditions of Ahlul Bayt, salamullahi alayhim ajma'een, narrations that tell us amongst the first places in this world after the zuhoor of Imam al-Hujja, alayhi assalam, in which he goes to liberate will be that of the lands in Jerusalem, specifically mentioned within our ahadith.

And so within our current context, to liberate Jerusalem from evil from immorality can only be reconciled with the liberation of the illegal and illegitimate state of Israel. And so if this is the priority in the eyes of the Awaited Savior, it must be a priority in the eyes of the Muslim Ummah as well, and especially those people who claim to be the Shi'a of Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad salwatullah wa salamuhu alaih ajma'een [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. As we stated, it matters not what speakers say, it matters not what speaker's opinions are. This is the methodology of your Imam, alayhi assalam, and surely that in itself should be significant enough for the hearts and the minds to realize the value of our stance against the illegal and illegitimate state of Israel today and tomorrow.

Tonight, inshaAllah, we will turn away from the state of Israel and look at another state which again is illegal and illegitimate just as much as Israel is, and that is known as ISIS or the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. The same way we began our discussion yesterday by emphasizing that this is not supposed to be a discussion against any faith or sect. This is also not to be a discussion whereby we consider this to be against our Sunni brethren or in any way, shape or form to be inciting hatred against our Sunni brethren. We must factor the theology, the history of our Sunni brethren within such discussions. However, it's done with respect and for the purpose of arriving at truth.

And so whatever is said this evening is by no means in any way, shape or form there to create sectarian hatred, but rather to look at a historical analysis of what is taking place in Sham and in Iraq, specifically since 2003 to date. And so when we look at this particular issue of ISIS, it is obvious that this is one of the most, if not the most important global issue that we could be facing today. We see today when we woke up this morning, news reverberated around the world of three more heinous attacks on innocent people.

The first attack was, for example, in France. And we saw that a person drove in to a factory and then beheaded someone in that factory, injuring several others. A flag similar to that of the ISIS flag has been found at that crime scene. We found today, this morning news when we awoke, that an attack on the beaches and holiday resort in Tunisia took place, killing 35 people and injuring many more as well. We have heard today that an attack on a mosque primarily of Shi'a worshippers in Kuwait took place, the death toll of which is 27 at the moment and more than 200 have been injured.

What drives an individual to be able to think that they can shoot individuals who are relaxing on holiday with their family members? What makes an individual think that they can shoot worshipers or detonate a suicide bomb and blow up worshippers inside a Masjid whilst they are in servitude of their Lord in sajda in salatul Jum'a? This is not an uncommon event - every week and sometimes every day of the week, we find a specific attack upon the Shi'a community around the world, be it in Pakistan or Afghanistan or in Syria or in Iraq or in Saudi Arabia or in Yemen or in Bahrain.

And so we need to think about why this has occurred and what are our responses to it and how you and I can begin to make a movement to stop this from continuing throughout the world and the chaos that has been wreaked by ISIS and by those people who seek to promote ISIS. Again, we are at liberty to have freedom of speech. I have the right to put forth an opinion, as do you. I have the right to provide evidence, as do you.

And so what we're going to look at today is how ISIS has formed and what are our responsibilities to ensuring that this chaos does not continue. The theology of ISIS is a separate issue. We are not going to talk specifically about Wahhabism or Salafi ism, and we're not going to talk specifically about how the theology is emanating from the occupied Arabia, also known as Saudi Arabia. We will start at 2003 and we will look at the sycophantic movements of George W. Bush and Tony Blair as the starting point of this event. That's not to say that things didn't happen before. However, time is not on our side and we can only started a certain point in history. I'm going to start by reading to you from an excerpt from the TV interview of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan in a recent interview with RT.

The question is as follows: Do you believe the current events in Iraq and in the neighboring countries are a direct consequence of the 2003 intervention or as something separate? The question is - the events today of ISIS, is this a direct consequence of the illegal war in and the invasion of Iraq in 2003? The answer: Absolutely. You cannot disassociate the situation in Iraq today from the U.S. intervention of 2003 because not only did the intervention take place, but they dismantled the Iraqi army, the structures, the state institutions overnight, creating a very serious vacuum which has led to where we are today. I don't think anybody can argue with that.

This is not me, this is the former U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, speaking only a few months ago to RT. The interview is available for you to watch on YouTube should you desire to watch the entirety of the YouTube clip. There is no way to separate the desire of invading Iraq. Why did these countries invade Iraq? Were there nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction? No, there wasn't. The reasons were primarily two: the first reason was to have your own proxy government in place so that you can control what is done and control the way in which that country operates. It is colonialization. You have a proxy government that you learn to puppet, and so you have another country in the world that is underneath your hand. The second reason was finances, money. Saddam Hussein la'natullah alaih had threatened to stop trading oil in dollars and threatened to trade in Euros. This would have a massive impact on certain economies. And so in order to stop Saddam from doing that, there was the idea to overthrow him so that these oil fields were once again controlled.

If you look and you have all been to Iraq inshaAllah for ziyarah, look at the number of contracts that have been placed with certain countries since the overthrow of Saddam. Every single government vehicle, be it a police car or an ambulance or a government vehicle protecting a government individual is made by Ford or GMC. Where did the money go? Certainly to certain economies. These were the two reasons for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Whether or not people thought they could establish a democracy, it was warned that there is going to be sectarian strife, that al-Qaida had a stronghold in that country and from the surrounding countries which seek to invade into Iraq in order to create their own state.

From 2003 until to date, there has been, by and large, within Iraq the sentiment from our Sunni brethren that they will not be governed by a Shi'a democracy. The Shi'a in Iraq are by far and away the vast majority. And so if you were to count vote for vote in a democracy, our Sunni brethren, being a minority, would not have the majority in that country. And from being the ruling class to being the minority class, this was something that until today it is unacceptable and is not something that is there within the Sunni sentiment.

That is their opinion. They're entitled towards that opinion. But the reality of that caused the divide within the Sunni communities. Some became radicalized. Some felt no empathy towards a Shi'a government. Some felt they could not support a Shi'a government at all. And so this divided the community. In Iraq, there is the blessing of having his eminence, Ayatollah al-udhma Syed Ali Sistani dama tawfeeqahu, may Allah grant him the longest of lives to keep serving this community and keeping our community united. I fear what will happen to our community after he passes away.

In Iraq, the Shi'a community, by and large, is held together by Syed Sistani. In Iraq, however, the Sunni community does not have the same blessing. Be there a religious leader or an academic leader or a political leader - there is much strife and disunity amongst our Sunni brothers in Iraq. And so immediately, in the aftermath of the occupation of Iraq from 2003, there was no unification of the Sunni movement, whilst within the Shi'a movement there was some general direction of unity and going in a certain direction. This was ultimately going to cause: a) an invasion by al-Qaida into Iraq and b) was ultimately going to cause more or less what we could term a civil war within Iraq. And you had many factions and for a number of years, almost on a daily basis, there were bomb attacks in marketplaces, in mosques and in roadside areas. And this was mainly targeting the Shi'a, primarily by virtue of the invasion from al-Qaida, which had got much sympathy from many Sunni quarters within the northern and the northwestern areas of Iraq.

Eventually, by and large, by virtue of movements within the Sunni and within the Shi'a communities, they had managed to rid themselves of al-Qaida within Iraq. It had not been a full success whereby the elements had no longer existed - many continue to remain. But by and large, they had defeated those invading elements and the radicalisation and extremist movement within Iraq.

Fast forward now to 2010, 2011. In late 2010, 2011, the Middle East experienced what was dubbed as the Arab Spring, which was a movement over a dozen countries from North Africa all the way to the other side of the Middle East, all the way to Yemen to create a more democratic society, a more just government, economic policies that were more befitting of humanity. Some people rioted, some people went on strike and across a dozen countries from North Africa to Yemen, there was a movement to create democracy and overthrow tyrannical regimes. Unfortunately, this became stopped and co-opted again by the extremist movement and by certain governments that didn't want change within the Middle East. Thousands of people died for the sake of creating a just situation within the Middle East. In order to see the end of Gadhafi, 25000 Libyans had to die. In order to see the end of Hosni Mubarak, five thousand Egyptians had to die. In order to see the end of many rulers, thousands and thousands of people had to die.

Unfortunately, many of this was co-opted and the true movement of the Arab Spring was ultimately halted. In one of these places, a movement was bubbling and that was in Syria. In early 2011, from January to March 2011, there was a very modest uprising against Bashar al-Assad, who had power since 2000. Whatever you think of Bashar al-Assad, this is secondary. There was a movement to displace Bashar al-Assad. However, at the beginning of the movement, it was not to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, rather, to keep stability, but to create reform within Syria. For example, the BBC, which is notoriously biased, very shallow, reported of a certain individual by the name of Dr. Muntaha al-Atrash. She was an ophthalmologist, surgeon of the eyes who had become a politician. She was interviewed in those early movements and asked, 'What is it that you are trying to achieve?' She specifically says, 'We are not trying to achieve the overthrow of Bashar Assad, just a reformation of this particular government'.

Many times, Bashar al-Assad's government has offered reformation; however, at this movement from early 2011, many people began to riot and there was a great movement in the city of Der'a in early 2011 - tens of thousands of people marched to reform what was happening within Syria. Unfortunately, and we lament, Bashar al-Assad's government killed 20 at least of that movement within Der'a. Overnight from being a peaceful movement to get reform within Syria, these spread to be violent movements within Syria. Now, there were movements within Homs, there were movement within Aleppo. There was movement within Damascus, not to reform the government, but to overthrow the government. If you know Syria, it's always been very delicately poised to do with sectarian tensions, be it the elements of Wahhabism or be it the 'Alawiya or be it the Shi'a, there has always been tension, but they had been living underneath that tension without fighting each other for a number of years.

I personally had a teacher in Karbala who told me her story of what took place in Damascus. She used to live in those roads that are just around Sayyeda Zaynab, alayha assalam. Listening to the story; she says her father was an Afghani Sheikh, very senior scholar, living in Syria for much of his life. She narrates the following story as a first eyewitness. She says that one day we returned back to our houses just surrounding and we saw militants with guns telling us you Shi'a are no longer welcome here in this area of Sayyeda Zaynab. You must leave now, take everything you can grab with your hands and leave. Otherwise you will be killed. They were taken into houses and into the basement of houses in order to be led out of the area safely before they were to be killed. She narrates that as we were taken into the basement, the Salafi militants who are now trying to take over Syria, she narrates they had dug tunnels underneath these houses for months and years, preparing this overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.

She said we saw guns, ammo and nooses waiting to hang people in those tunnels. She says as a first eyewitness, this invasion of Syria had been planned years in advance. For them to have bought houses in those areas, quietly dug tunnels, filled it with ammunition - this did not happen overnight. This was prepared years in advance. Tonight, I invite you to go onto the Internet and type in the following words into Google: type in Prince Bandar, God save the Shi'a. You will read an article from the independent newspaper in the United Kingdom where one of the MI6 agents, you know, the British Secret Service? MI6 agent says he reports prior to 9/11, Prince Bandar, the then head of the intelligence services of occupied Saudi Arabia says, and I quote, 'We are literally at the time where it will be 'God help the Shi'a'.' A billion Sunnis have literally had enough of them.

Do you think that these events happen in a vacuum? Do you think this is all haphazard and that governments haven't been planning these things all along? Let us not be so naive. Prince Bandar, the head of the intelligence services of occupied Arabia said, prior to 9/11, the time will come when it will literally be 'God help the Shi'a', a billion Sunnis have had enough of them.

Now he doesn't represent the Ahlul Sunnah wa Jama'a. And believe me, those who are true Ahlul Sunnah wa Jama'a are with the Shi'a as much as the true Shi'a with the Ahlul Sunnah wa Jama'a. As Sayed Sistani, may Allah bless him, said, 'Do not consider your Sunni brethren as brothers. They are the same as you.' There is no difference.

Now, here, if you understand what is taking place, this had been planned for many, many years, this has not been something haphazardly cobbled together. When this occurred and now these militants started to try to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, thousands of people started to invade from across the world. The Soufan Group, which is a specific group analyzing this particular movement, stated in the earliest times of 2012 to 2013, there were 12000 foreign invaders to Syria. This was an invasion to overthrow.

What did you see across all of your global media outlets? Support for whom? Support for these militants to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. They gave them as much airtime as possible and they gave them as much weapons and money as possible. I am going to read to you what Vice President Joe Biden said in October 2004 at Harvard University. This, again is available on YouTube. You can watch him say it with his own words. And in fact, when he says these words, you see him smirking, laughing, smiling at the words that you're about to hear.

'The idea of identifying a moderate middle has always been a chase America has engaged in for a long time. The fact is trying to identify a moderate middle in Syria - there was no such thing as a moderate middle. What happened was and history will record this as our biggest problem was our allies. America's allies. The Turks, the Saudis, the Emiraties, what were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially to have a proxy Sunni Shi'a war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that they were supplying al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of the jihadis were coming from other parts of the world. Where did all of this go? He asks. This outfit called ISIL, ISIS, which was al-Qaida in Iraq who were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in Syria. We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them'.

What a joke! We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them - you're the United States of America. When you say jump, everyone says how high. The Turks, the Saudis, the Emiraties. What were they doing? Supplying hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands, tens of thousands of weapons. The blood is on whose hands? Fifteen million people have been made refugees because of ISIS. Millions of people have died as a result of ISIS. You have seen the most barbaric of executions, people driving alongside the road, they pull up next to them and open fire. They burn people alive. Last week, we saw them try to create a new version of torture and killing. They would put people, captives of war into cages and drowned them in swimming pools.

This has nothing to do with Islam in its truest sense, but unfortunately, these are Muslims that are performing these particular actions.

The fact that Iraq was unable to govern itself properly and did not have security over the northern and northwestern parts of its own borders after Syria declared itself a state, then they flowed massively back into Iraq. And now today, one third of the northern parts of Iraq are taken over by ISIS. We have to think. As a Muslim community and as a Shi'a community about these issues and how we're going to deal with them. This is a topic now that probably is deserving of more time, and so it would be unbefitting to rush and finish this in the next five minutes to allow us to enter into the state of wudhu and prepare for salat. And then for tomorrow, we will carry it on.

But here, I want to open this as a question for you and I. Is it sufficient what we are doing as a community to deal with ISIS either abroad or within our own local communities? Or is it that being the greatest challenge of our time that you and I have to reconsider the way in which we talk and the way in which our communities are designed and set up to deal with this particular issue?

I'm going to conclude with a point and I want you to take in the spirit in which I convey it, which is with humility and a request to all the momineen and mominaat to think about how we are responsible for our response to ISIS around the world. When we look at our texts, it is our belief that our texts have provided us everything we need from the time of Rasul Allah until the end of time itself, correct? Our Quran and our A'imma salamullah alaihim ajma'een have provided us with the tools and the means to think through our responses to the challenges of the world, no matter what those challenges are. How has our community and I don't know here, so I am not talking about here, I'm talking about our general global Shi'a community or global Khoja community who I'm primarily addressing - how has our community changed to react to what is going on in Iraq and in Syria?

The discourse, the attendance, the type of programming that we have, the awareness of what's going on. Do we have knowledge of what's happening on a day to day basis in Iraq, a weekly or monthly basis of what's happening in Iraq and Syria? Why not? Why has that message not reached us from Iraq to here, and why is it that we are so unconcerned with what's going on there except when ISIS create a new way to kill people?

Surely our communities should be remolding itself in accordance with the challenges of its time. Let me give you an example. On Thursday nights and I don't know about here, I'm a guest here, I'm talking at the global level. On Thursday nights, we often start our program with Suratul Yasin. Correct or not? We have Suratul Yasin, Dua Kumayl, Ziyarat Waritha. Often around the world, unfortunately, there is a decline in the attendance to the extent that today we are seeing communities of hundreds and even the thousands, that when it comes to the beginning of the program on a Thursday night, Suratul Yasin, there are only three or five or ten people there.

Isn't that strange that at a time when our madhhab is being destroyed by occupied Arabia, literally, they are trying to destroy Karbala and Najaf - there is not an increase in spirituality enough to even come more regularly on a Thursday night. If I were to say, 'Let's drop Suratul Yasin altogether from the Thursday night program', I would be lynched. Jaffer Ladak, he's trying to create all these problems within the community. He doesn't want Thursday nights Suratul Yasin. How can we not have Thursday night Suratul Yasin?

Baba, there's only three of you coming. What difference does it make to you? 97 percent shouldn't even say a word because they don't attend. What difference does it make to you if Yasin is recited, if you're not going to come in the first place? But our communities haven't adopted or adapted to the challenge of the time. Think about it. In Sahifa Sajjadiya, there is a dua known as Dua Ahle-Thughoor. What is Dua Ahle-Thughoor? The dua for the prayer for those on the front lines of the war. We pray for them, 'O Allah, grant victory to those people on the front lines, defeat your enemies, dry up their weapons stashes'. I ask a question to my global community: how many times has Dua Ahle-Thughoor been recited at our hussainiyya, in our Imambargah, in our masjids?

We don't even take time as a community to pray for those people who are fighting against ISIS. Can there be anything more absurd than that in our communities going on? Take it in the spirit in which I'm saying it. We won't come for Thursday night Yasin, and then when we need to see what's happening in the world, we come and we shed a crocodile tear for those 27 people who died in sajda today in Kuwait. But never once did I take the time to sit on the Musalla or as a community to pray for those people who are on the front line.

We are saying it is a real world, our communities must adopt and adapt to that real world, the challenges that are faced. The fact that Wahhabism is infiltrating every one of our Sunni mosques today, it means the time has come for us as a community to respond in kind, to work with our Sunni brethren, to bring them into the community, to bring racists into the community, to welcome them in and show them the beauty of Islam and the beauty of the madhhab of 'aali Muhammad.

If we can think about these things tonight as the proverbial homework, then tomorrow, inshaAllah, we can build on this discussion to truly talk about what we as a community can do from here to ensure that ISIS doesn't spread and to ensure that we respond to the challenges of our time, just the way in which the Awaited Saviour of humanitywould wants us to Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Please raise your hands and let's join each other in du'a. We ask Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to hasten the reappearance of the Awaited Saviour; to allow us to be alongside him at all times in our life and in our death; if we are to pass away from this world before his coming, to raise us from our graves so that we may partake in the victory of Muhammad and 'aali Muhammad. Ya Allah, there are many people around the world going through such desperate times. Help them inshaAllah with victory and let us die in the love of Muhammad and 'aali Muhammad. Wassalamu alaykum jamee'un wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].