Philosophy Of Ghaybah 12/14 - Imam Mahdi (AJ) and the Madina Example: Unity

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). Aamanna 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 ghayba of the Awaited Saviour humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] has in the last few nights allowed us to look at some of the intricacies within the prophetic model, specifically the way in which our Noble Messenger Rasul Allah Muhammad sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] liberated the minds and the communities in the holy city of Mecca.

And we stated that Mecca specifically was a community that had been shackled intellectually and morally and only by uprooting the intellectual shackles could Rasul Allah liberate that community. In the same way, today, there are certain shackles that are placed upon the minds of people, how they think, how they react. And so when the Awaited Saviour, alayhi assalam, comes, one of his great tasks will be to liberate people and the shackles that have been placed upon their mindset, the way in which they see this world, the corruption that exists in that through its existence, we cannot truly have a righteous state of humanity. Only once we remove those foundations that are laid to create such horrible things within the world, only then can we truly be living in a community that is flourishing.

Our discussion this evening is to move on to the city of Medina and to re-evaluate the Medinan form of liberation at the hands of Rasul Allah, and then to think about its application in accordance with today and also to think about how you and I, as active Muslims, as servants of humanity, may begin to think about our world view and the way in which we construct an image of the world that we want to see tomorrow, inshaAllah.

If you recall when we discussed the liberation of Medina, we talked about the Constitution of Medina and we spoke about how Rasul Allah had a very plural society under his hands. He had Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians. Within the Muslim community, there were the pious Muslims and there were the less pious or even the munafiqeen. Rasul Allah's primary task was to get the best out of all of these different groups, knowing that he would not be able to convert everybody, knowing that he may not be able to tell everybody and make everybody become the ideal supreme human being like the great companions, such as Aba Dharr al-Ghifari or Miqdad ibn Aswad al-Kindi or Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari.

Human beings are autonomous human beings. There're going to be people that decide to agree with something or decide to disagree with something. That is the freedom Allah Ta'ala has innately given. And so knowing that each community, faith and sect has their own freedom to agree or disagree, to regard or disregard the message of Rasul Allah, Rasul Allah's task was ultimately to get the best out of those human beings through their own practices and through their own worshiping of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, in the way in which ultimately they were going to do.

One of the first things he had to do was remove their insecurity as human beings; the fear that they had of the other human being. This is very important. Often enough, we as human beings fear other human beings and we fear their stances, we fear their practices, we fear their cultures because somehow if I was to acknowledge or appreciate or even welcome someone else's culture or religion, somehow it will detract from my own. Now, this is an insecurity that human beings, who are insecure in their minds, hold.

If you look at the way in which Rasul Allah was, he was not an insecure human being, he did not fear the other, he did not fear the other's practice. He welcomed the other's practice even within his own city of Medina. We highlighted the Constitution of Medina, the primary document, that enshrined those communities and the way in which they were to live and work together. The first article of the document was: whoever signs up to this document forms part of the Muslim Ummah - we are all one community. This is the first. The second was, or amongst the articles was that this document includes all the tribes of the Jewish community and he listed them by name to say that those associated will also be included in this framework. He stated things like: you have freedom of worship, if you wish to build your synagogues or your churches, you are free to do so. You and I may not agree in your formal practice or the way in which you've understood God, or the way in which you are going to deal with yourselves jurisprudentially, but the fact that it's yielding you God consciousness, the fact that you are still a God-centric community, then I would like this to take place: there is no oppression of you and there is no repression of your own practices.

It actually goes further. Because the Muslim Ummah was so concerned with the welfare and the freedoms and the rights of other citizens of other faiths, he would say things like this in their constitution: that a Muslim, if he is to harm a Jew or a Christian and he is in the wrong, it is the responsibility of all the Muslims to stand up against that Muslim and side with the Jew, the Christian that is being oppressed.

Look at the way in which he conceived these things. Now, even until recently or even until now, despite this, religions have not understood the way in which Rasul Allah thought, let alone Muslims having understood the way in which Rasul Allah thought. For example, even up until the 1700s in France, Protestants and Catholics had a mass oppression against each other. For example, there is a time in history you will note that one sect oppressed the other in France so much that they limited the number of people that could be present within a wedding ceremony or limited the number of people that could be present within a funeral ceremony.

So, for example, a family members of yours becomes married, legally only five people are allowed to turn up. Why? Because there was sectarian conflict between them. This has lasted throughout the ages. Until today, if you look in Dubai, Shi'a mosques, Shi'a masajid, Hussainiaats are prohibited from staying open past a certain time. Why? If you look within Bahrain, the oppression and the repression of Shi'a within Bahrain to not be allowed to take governmental posts. Why? Because you are of a certain sect. In Saudi Arabia, only about two months ago, we found that if you are trying to make an application for Haj, now there is a form that asks you if you are Shi'a or not, not even which sect you are. Are you a Shi'a? And you would have to tick it or you would have to cross it to say you are or you are not. Look at the way in which Rasul Allah dealt with people of other faiths, allowing them to flourish. And look at the way the Muslim Ummah treats each other in regards to how others flourish.

Now the Quran tells us, very importantly, 'i'diloo; huwa aqrabu littaqwaa',(5:8), 'be just for that is closer towards piety'. It is closer. It is closer towards God consciousness and taqwa. Meaning that today other sects may be in the ascendancy. They may have political authority within certain lands. And so we call out and we say we want political freedom. We want religious freedom. 'i'diloo', - be just because tomorrow, if you enter into power as Shi'a in the community, tomorrow, if you have community or you have position or you have a country of your own, it would be your job to be equal and fair to other communities the same way you expect other communities to be fair to you. I'diloo; huwa aqrabu littaqwaa, be just because it is closer towards piety. And so whenever a Shi'a becomes empowered, we must not forget to also allow for others to have their freedoms, freedoms of movement, freedoms of worship, and so on and so forth. This is the model that Rasul Allah Muhammad. Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]had created for us in thought.

And so we have three aspects to think about: the first one is, unity between Muslims; Number two, unity amongst all faiths in humanity; and number three, how a world should be governed in accordance with those principles that Rasul Allah left for us in Madina. The fact that we appreciate plural society and a God-conscious society means our starting position is: no oppression or oppression of the other. We should be welcoming the flourishing of other communities of other ideas and the nourishment of human beings towards their practice of worshipping God alone.

How does that factor into the way in which we think and the way in which we practice? When it comes to the Muslim Ummah and the Muslim community, today one of the most contentious discussions is that regarding unity within the Muslim community. What do we mean by unity and what is not meant by unity? Some people think that when we say Muslims should be united, they think that what's being implied here is that all Muslims should just forego their theological stances or jurisprudential stances and everybody come together, hold hands and do the equivalent of singing 'Kumbaya'.

Now, straight away, you would realize that that's obviously not what's being said. But still today, there are some Muslims and many Shi'a, especially on social media, that have been unable intellectually to grasp that unity does not mean that we forgo our religious beliefs. Unity means that we are able to see each other's beliefs, theological and jurisprudential beliefs. But we appreciate that we are not going to be able to agree on certain matters, but for the higher goals of what Islam is actually aiming for, those things that are going to cause disunity, we put them to a side and we look towards the greater matters of Islam and join together on the greater matters of Islam while still appreciating those factors that are different between each other.

Here, this is called the philosophy of religion. If you study the philosophy of religion, religion asks what are the higher goals that religion is seeking to achieve? So, for example, you might study and you will say that religion is seeking the liberation of humanity. Religion is seeking the free human being to arrive at servitude of God. Religion is seeking for humanity to move forward in a certain direction. These are the higher aims of religion. If something compromises against those higher goals, what wins? Which one? The higher goals of the religion come out as imperative and as the things that are most important. And so the way in which I use my differences of opinion with Sunni brethren, Christian brethren, Judaic brethren, all of this is done within the framework of still accomplishing the higher goals of what religion is seeking to achieve.

This is mentioned many times within the Quran. One of the most outstanding verses of the Holy Quran says 'Shara'alakum minad deeni maa wassaa bihee Nooh, ....wa Ibraaheema wa Moosa wa 'Isaaa an aqeemud deena wa laa tatafarraqoo feeh'(42:13) - We have given to you your Shari'a - Shara'a lakum minad deeni. 'Maa wassaa bihee Nooh,'- what We gave to Nuh and Ibrahim and Musa, meaning that the Shari'a for these individu'als was one. We seem to think our Shari'a are the laws prescribed by His Eminence Ayatollah Sayed Sistani, may Allah grant him the longest of lives. That's not Shari'a. That's our fiqh - that's our jurisprudence. The Shari'a is higher than the fiqh. The actual Shari'a are those things which are dictated in the absolute goals of the religion of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And they are universalised throughout all the manifestations of all the prophets: Shara'a lakum minad deeni maa wassaa bihee Noohanw wallazeee awhainaaa ilaika wa maa wassainaa biheee Ibraaheema wa Moosa wa 'Isaaa.

What are those guiding principles of the religion that was delivered to you, Ya Rasul Allah, to Musa, to Isa, to all of the prophets? 'An aqeemud deena wa laa tatafarraqoo feeh', - to establish the righteous way of life, the religion of God, and to not be disunited amongst each other. Think about that. We can all have different jurisprudence. The jurisprudence of Musa, alayhi assalam, differed to Isa, alayhi assalam,, the jurisprudence of Isa, alayhi assalam, differed to Rasul Allah sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. However, what was unified was the Shari'a, was the overriding goals of what they were governed by. And what was that? To establish righteous way of life and to not be disunited amongst each other, to not cause separations and frictions in an arbitrary way between each other.

You will find many verses of the Holy Quran that speak about people who divide, people who separate and people who cause friction within the community. There are many verses. One or two I will mention to you now, inshaAllah. For example, within chapter number 28, Suratul Qasas of the Holy Quran, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala describes Firawn and the characteristics of Firawn. Firawn is one of the worst of creatures of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, one of the most deviant, outlandish of human beings that have ever been created. Surely I would want to know how the Quran describes his characteristics so that I do not fall into those characteristics that he has, na'uzobillah. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says: 'Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, Inna Fir'awna 'alaa fil ardi wa ja'ala ahlahaa shiya'ai yastad'ifu taaa'ifatam minhum yudhabbihu abnaaa'ahum wa yastahyee nisaaa'ahum'(28:4), 'the characteristics that were described of Firawn: surely Firawn considered himself to be above the whole world, considered himself to be Godlike and he created his people into groups and he divided them into their various sects'. 'Yastad'ifu taaa'ifatam minhum,' - what followed from them being divided as communities? He was able to make them 'mustad'ifoon' downtrodden people by virtue of them being divided. 'Yudhabbihu abnaaa'ahum,' - and he would kill their sons, 'wa yastahyee nisaaa'ahum,' - and he managed to oppress their women. What was the tool that he managed to use in order to create this? By dividing people and dividing that group of Banu Israel into various different communities.

Other verses, for example, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, warns us in the Muslim community to not be like this as well. In Sura Aale Imran, Chapter number three of the Quran verse number 105 Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says, 'Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, Wa laa takoonoo kallazeena tafarraqoo' (3:105), - do not be like those people who divided; 'wakhtalafoo mim ba'di maa jaaa'ahumul baiyinaat'(3:105)- what did they do? They differed amongst themselves after guidance had become clearly manifested to them.

Here we are told not to divide the community. There is a sermon in Nahjul Balagha from the Commander of the Faithful, Amir al-Mu'mineen Ali ibn abi Talib salwaatullah wa salamuhu alaih [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. In sermon 192, talking about the Muslim community and the lessons they should take from previous communities like Banu Israel in regards to having arbitrary division amongst themselves.

Listen to these words from our master, alaihi salam. He says, 'Ponder over the condition of people from amongst the believers who have passed before you. What distress and trials they were in and underwent. Were they not the most overburdened people amongst the people and in the most straitened circumstances in the entirety of the world? What did Firawn do?Divided people and then he managed to kill the children and oppress the women because people were divided.

Amir al-Mu'mineen asks the question 'Were they not the most overburdened people in the whole world? He changed their disgrace into honor and safety.' Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala changed their disgrace into safety. 'Consequently, they became ruling kings and conspicuous leaders and had Allah's favours upon them and reached the limits to where their own wishes had not managed to reach before,' speaking about Banu Israel. Now, here comes the lesson: 'look how they were when their groups were united,' it accepts they had different groups. There were groups within the Shi'a. There are groups within the Ahlal Sunnah wa Jama'a. There are groups within the Sufi. What does Amir al-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam, speak about the past?'

'Look how they were when their groups were united and their views were unanimous. Their hearts were moderate towards each other. They had used to help one another. Their swords were intended for assisting each other. And their eyes were sharp and their aims were the same amongst each other'. Yes, the groups were split, but the things that united them were the higher goals of what they were supposed to achieve. 'Did they not become masters of the corners of the earth and the rulers over the necks of people throughout the world?

Groups, but united together. 'Thereafter, also see what happened to them towards the end when divisions overtook them. Unity became fractured, differences arose between their words and between their hearts'. You see differences were there, but when their hearts were disunited, this is when the problem came. They divide into various groups and were scattered amongst themselves, fighting. Then Allah took away from them the beauty and their honor and deprived them of His favors, only their stories have remained amongst you for guidance and those who wish to take the lessons from those stories'.

Shi'as who say that there is not supposed to be unity amongst Muslims, they do not understand their own Prophet, nor do they understand their own first Imam. They're in direct opposition to their Prophet and in direct opposition towards their Imam. Those people who create disunity, who swear and abuse and curse against the muqaddisat of other sects, they fall into this category as well, irrespective of whether you are a scholar of Islam or otherwise.

Here, we need to think about what the Prophetic example is and the words from the Commander of the Faithful and whatever that they're actually trying to show. Yes, we may have a difference of opinion between us. And there is no doubt in history, the first of the three khulafa were usurpers and stole khilafat from Amir al-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam. Ayesha, she had hurt the Prophet, had hurt Amir al-Mu'mineen, there is no denial of this. This is in history. It's not a debatable issue. And we, as Shi'a Muslims, continue to proclaim these matters. Muawiya ibn abu Sufyan, Yazid ibn Muawiya, they are the tyrants. There is none like them in history. And that will not change no matter how much one tries to cover it up. The difference is how we approach the conversation and the way in which we see that these things should not disunite the higher goals of humanity and our aspirations for the goodness of one another.

Look at this great story. There was a scholar who passed away a few years ago by the name of the Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Ridha Shirazi, ramatullahi alayh. This story comes to us from Kuwait. Only a few days ago 30 Shi'a were killed in Kuwait City in a bomb attack on their mosque. May Allah's mercy and blessings fall upon them. Listen to this story. It is said one day, a Shi'a narrates, that Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Ridha Shirazi, ramatullahi alayh, was living in a Masjid inside Kuwait. And just by this masjid, there was a block of flats, apartments that were being built. Of course, there's the scaffolding and all the workers that are working there every day. The individu'al narrating the story says every day we used to go for salat and every day we used to see our Sunni brethren who used to be working on that construction site, praying their salat as well. So we would go to our Masjid and next door we would see them outside praying.

And of course, they would be praying in the ways in which our Sunni brethren would be praying. He says after many weeks, again, one day I went to go and pray at our masjid. This time when I saw them praying, the Sunnis praying by the construction site, this time I saw them praying with their arms down. They had obviously reverted to being Shi'a. And so I decided to approach them and ask them, what is it that has changed your way of thinking that yesterday you were praying in the ways in which the jurisprudence of the Ahlul Sunnah are and today you are praying in the jurisprudence of the Ahle Tashaiyyu, the Shi'a ithna Ashariya?

He sat down with them and they began to tell their story. They said there was a scholar who used to live in this house next to our construction site. And, of course, we are working in the day in the heat of the sun. And every day this scholar would come out and he would bring us trays of food and water. And he would come to us, our hands would be dirty and messy from the construction and the things that we were building, he used to give us the cups of water with his own hands and the food with his own hands. We were so enthralled by the way in which he was with his akhlaq, we decided to ask him about his madhhab and the school of thought that he followed. We began to ask him. Then he taught us about the school of Ahlul Bayt and the Holy Thaqalain. We didn't realize that this is what the Shi'as stand for. If this is the akhlaq of the school of Ahlul Bayt, we wanted to become Shi'a and we said, 'Ashhadu an la ilaha illallah Muhammadan Rasul Allah, wa Aliun waliullah'.[Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. Narahe Haydari! Ya Ali!]

This is the example that is set to us, yet we as the community on the whole have set about dividing as opposed to uniting. Actually, the only school of thought that believes in division is that of the Wahhabi school of thought. How many years ago was it, be it you were in Afghanistan or in London or in Allentown, where when we first migrated from our own homelands, we used to come and pray together. So often we used to have one place of worship and we would pray together and we would do the acts of worship together. Even if you ask in Afghanistan only recently, in the last maybe 15 or 20 years since the rise of the Taliban, have we seen up until then people were praying together, side by side together. It was only when Saudi Arabia had stated that we're going to put money in and when masajids needed building, they would say, we will build you masjid for you, completely free, whatever you want. You want the most beautiful of tiles, mosaics, asma' al-husna, we will make it for you free of charge. One condition: the imam of Jama'a must be from us. What happened? Muslims ran towards the money in order to beautify their masajids. One of the signs of the end of times, which we'll come to you tomorrow, inshaAllah, one of the signs at the end of times are masajid will be beautiful, but they will be empty of spirituality. Who created that in the name of division of human beings?

Here, it is the Muslim responsibility to ensure that although we will remain within our theological and jurisprudential ideals, that this does not stop the higher goals of the religion itself in coming together, in freeing people from their chains, removing illiteracy, removing poverty, removing oppression where that may be.

The beauty is that the Shi'a are themselves every day, in Shahr Ramadan make this du'a but we gloss over it because we too often, or I too often recite du'a Iftitah like a parrot without thinking about what the words actually say. It says in our du'a Iftitah, from the Imam of our time, the imam of our time is giving to us the framework of thought for his period of ghayba: 'Allahumma inna narghabu ilayka fi dawlatin karimatin; tu`izzu biha al-islama wa ahlahu; wa tudhillu biha alnnifaqa wa ahlahu; wa taj`aluna fiha min alddu`ati ila ta`atika; walqadati ila sabilika; wa tarzuquna biha karamata alddunya wal-akhirati' - O my Lord, I wish for an honorable state, not an ISIS state, a true honorable state in which we find Islam and its people present and it causes the destruction of the people of nifaaq and its kind. Then, having made this du'a, we ask Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala the next part of the du'a. We say, 'Allahumma ma `arraftana min alhaqqi fahammilnahuI; wa ma qasurna `anhu faballighnahu; allahumma ilmum bihi sha`athana; wash`ib bihi sad`ana,'- having asked du'a for an honorable state in which Islam truly is, we then ask, 'My Lord, help me to become aware of those things which cause the shortfall in getting there.

What is the next du'a? Stitch together our divisions. The honorable state, a place where Islam truly is, is a place where we stitch together our divisions, not allow for the separation to continue of those divisions. This is the way Islam is and this is the du'a that we ask every night in Ramadan. This is supposed to be what we are enacting through the du'a and not just allowing those divisions to be created.

How amazing the Muslim is, that Rasul Allah allowed the Jews and Christians to practice their worship, but Shi'a would not allow Sunni to practice their forms of worship and Sunni would not allow Shi'a to practice their forms of worship. How strange a Muslim is. And this is wat we need to override. This is what we need to break, because if Islam is truly going to create that beautiful state, we would learn how to overcome these particular events.

This should be a given that Rasul Allah's model was a framework to allow all faiths, God-centric faiths to flourish. The Imam of our time, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] will allow for exactly the same. It is not a monolithic society when he comes. The narrations are replete in telling us that Rasul Allah's inheritor, the Imam, will act the same way his grandfather did. The narration states Mahdi salamullah alaih will govern the Jews with the Tawrat, that the Christians with the Injeel and the Muslims with the Quran.

If this is the way Rasul Allah did it and this is the way the Imam of our time will do it, it must be that even in our time we respect and understand the intricacies of faith that come from every sect within Islam and every sect that is from outside of Islam. It can't be any other way. But having now taken this as surely a given, that this should be the mentality, we want to take the discussion slightly higher and we now want to think about the way in which the world might be in the hands of the Awaited Saviour and to set you and I an intellectual task of helping the world mature to that particular outcome.

If we now understand that Rasul Allah's methodology was to get the best out of everyone, Mahdi salamullah alaih will also be trying to get the best out of everyone; it will not be a monolithic society, have a look at the way the world is today. We stated in Mecca, it was governments and institutions that fostered hate between each other. Another reason for the fostering of division and hate and rivalry amongst each other today is nationalism and an arbitrary patriotism against one another.

You know, it's only been around 400 years, which has seen the start of nation states: these arbitrary lines that are drawn on a map that are created to divide and conquer humanity. What happens when you divide? You pit yourself against the other. You no longer see them as part and parcel of you, you see them as your opposition and someone that now you must debate or you must rule over or you must conquer over, or they are separate persons. They have a rival culture and a rival way of thinking to you and I. The thing about these lines that are drawn between human beings is that they are very arbitrary. Tomorrow they can change again, can't they? They were made in the first place. They can be changed again. So why am I so bothered about these lines that someone imposed upon me and tomorrow someone again can change when they have no true value amongst themselves?

Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says, 'Kaanan naasu ummatanw waahidatan'(2:213) - humankind was one, it is me that now seeks to look at the other as a problem because he does not share my dialect or he does not share this little flag with these colors on them. Look at Donald Trump. Be aware of what he spews. Look at his announcement for GOP candidacy for president. Look at the way in which he spoke about Mexicans. He wouldn't say that about Americans. Why? Because for him, Americans are one people. But there's an arbitrary line that divides and therefore, in his mind others are lesser than you and I.

If the lines were slightly stretched and they had been included within the United States, all of a sudden they would have some intrinsic value to them. Human beings are being arbitrarily divided amongst each other. The outcome of this is the following: because we have a world that is based upon these arbitrary lines that we have created, now that there are rivalries and the desire to conquer each and everyone's land, a desire to take what natural resources you have instead of realizing that God Almighty gave all of us those natural resources.

'Idhaa zul zilatil ardu zil zaalaha, Wa akh rajatil ardu athqaalaha , Wa qaalal insaanu ma laha, Yawmaa idhin tuhad dithu akhbaaraha, Bi-anna rabbaka awhaa laha'(99:1-5). Even the entire world itself at the end of times will speak and gush forth the treasures from within for humanity to equally share and distribute amongst each other. Now I have these lines and you have something I don't, I need to find a way to conquer you so I can take your natural resources you have and exploit them.

We shouldn't be thinking along these lines. We should be of higher caliber. When you have these borders, an outcome is that we have citizenship and nationality within these borders. What we have today is 60 million refugees around these borders, that are being kicked out of their home and are not being given a home because their new found places of residency are waiting for them to go back to their other residencies where they were supposed to be living. Why? Because this is my country, not your country.

We have 15 million people who are stateless. They don't have nationality anywhere. They don't belong anywhere. People here in this community should be very aware of that, especially those who came from Uganda. Because when Idi Amin kicked Indians out of Uganda, how many it was there for three and four and five years were stateless. They didn't have any right to be in any country in the world. It eventually was the States and Canada and France and Austria and Switzerland and Britain that took people that didn't have rights to stay anywhere.

Why am I saying this? Because once we managed to break the intellectual shackles that the Sunni is my enemy, the Shi'a is the enemy, the Christian is the enemy, the Jew is the enemy - once we mature past that, we will begin to start discussing maturing past these arbitrary lines that are creating almost a hundred million people to be without homes and places within the world today. By God, that's only going to increase when global warming continues and when poverty and war continues.

The Imam alayhi assalam may not look at the world in these very arbitrary lines. Maybe he would look at the world and say humanity everywhere has a right to exist. And so he would champion for all human beings to have a place within the world, irrespective of your faith or your creed or denomination. If you and I really wanted to start thinking about the Medinan community and how Rasul Allah managed to make everyone feel like they had a place to live and to worship freely and to secure themselves a place within the world, once having defeated the sectarianism that is within our communities, the fear of the other culture taking over, we'll begin to think about how every human being has a right to have a place within this world. We will start looking into the rights of refugees. We will start looking for the rights of the stateless and begin to start championing their rights the same way we want Saudi Arabia to start championing our rights the same way we want Pakistan to start championing my rights. Maybe tomorrow we will arrive at a higher pedestal of thinking about how we can champion others' rights.

This is the Medinan society that Rasul Allah built. What did he say? We mentioned at the beginning of the majlis - if a Muslim does wrong to a Jew, it is the responsibility of all the Muslims to champion the rights of the Jew. If I see people in the world, be they Mexicans or be they Malaysians, or be they Cambodians being arbitrarily left without places to live, I do not look at them because they are Cambodian, I will not champion their rights. Humanity is one, and that is the Medinan society that was built and that is the society that the Awaited Savior of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef will also build [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Wal hamdulillah Rabbal Aalameen, wasallahumma ‘ala Sayedina wa Nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alehi at-Tahireen. Please raise your hands. Let us join each other in du'a – we ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala sincerely 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 Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad. Ya Allah there are many people around the world going through such desperate times, grant them all safety, security and victory for the sake of Muhammad and aali Muhammad. Wassalamu alaykum jamee'un wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Please conclude this discussion with a loud salawat in honor of the Awaited Savriour, Imam al-Mahdi ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].