Philosophy Of Ghaybah 5/14 - Liberation

A'uzubillahi minash shaytanir rajeem. Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil 'aalameen, Al-Hamdulillahil ladhee hadaanaa lihaadha, wa maa kunna linahtadiya law laaa ann hadaana Allah, wassalaato wassalamu 'ala ashrafil anbiyai wal mursaleen, khaatimin nabiyeen, sayedinil mumajjad, basheerinil 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-dhalimeen 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 Kitaabum 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 [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Awaited Saviour of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, alayhi assalam, my respected teachers, elders, brothers and sisters, asalam 'alaikum jamee'un wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh [wa aleykum assalam,wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu]. Our series is discussing the Philosophy of the Ghayba of the Awaited Saviour of Humanity, Master and Lord of our age, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

We are trying to have a greater degree of ma'rifa of our Imam, alayhi assalam, so that when he comes, we are better in a position to understand him in terms of his personality, in terms of his mission, in terms of his methodology. And so when he comes, we are not like the Jewish community of Madina that rejected the Prophet, their own coming of the savior. And we ensure that we grasp the Imam of our time - alayhi assalam, and serve him as he ought to be served.

Our discussion in the last two nights has been to enter into the actual discussion of the philosophy of the ghayba. And what we have stated is that we need to have certain suppositions, ideas that are correct. And from there, we are able to correctly interpret the material that comes to us in regards to the world, in regards to the narrations, in regards to all that we use to understand the Imam of our time. And we have stated, most importantly, fundamentally, that this Imam of ours, alayhi assalam, is a universal Imam. He is an Imam for everybody, irrespective of your denomination or your faith.

He will represent all the countries and all of the cultures of this world. And therefore, he is an Imam for everybody. We have also stated that in order for us to correctly understand the method, the mission of the Imam of our time, the way in which we correctly do this, is to go back into the methodology of our noble Messenger, Rasul Allah Muhammad, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

This is specifically explicated in a narration from our Sixth Imam, alayhi assalam, who states, 'Al-Mahdi yasna'u kama san'a Rasul Allah,' - 'al-Mahdi acts just as Rasul Allah acted'. And so yesterday we began the discussion on the mission of Rasul Allah in its entirety and we stated that this is the liberation of those around him. He must be able to liberate the community from the evils that are found inherent therein. And we noted that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala describes many times within the Holy Quran what the Hejazan community were like.

And we mentioned, for example, a fundamental verse from Suratul Hijr: Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says, لَعَمۡرُكَ اِنَّهُمۡ لَفِىۡ سَكۡرَتِهِمۡ يَعۡمَهُوۡنَ 'La'amruka innahum lafee sakratihim ya'mahoon'(15:72), 'I take an oath by your existence, O Messenger, that these people are wandering blindly in their intoxications'. At the specific level, this verse was revealed for qawm-e-Lut; at the general level, this is describing the Hejazan community. And so by the time Rasul Allah had spent with them, liberating them, making them into human beings, showing them the way of akhlaq, showing them the way of intellectual liberation.

Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala reveals another verse praising that very same community, saying, كُنۡتُمۡ خَيۡرَ اُمَّةٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ 'Kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaasi'(3:110), 'you are the best of people heralded for mankind'.

That trajectory of growth, the mission that is given to the Awaited Savior of humanity, is not only to make the Hejazan people, the people that are heralded as exemplars for mankind. His role is to make the whole of mankind the exemplars for mankind. What a mission at hand this man has. And we highlight the verse where Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says, وَاَشۡرَقَتِ الۡاَرۡضُ بِنُوۡرِ رَبِّهَا 'Wa ashraqat 'l-ardu binoori Rabbihaa'(39:69) - 'the entirety of the Earth will glisten from the noor of its Lord'. This was yesterday; we talked about the mission and that trajectory of growth, taking a community from the evils that have engulfed it to a point where they are flourishing in their society.

This is the mission of the Imam of our time at a global level: to take the corruption that we find within the world today, all of them, remove them and create a flourishing global community. Then we wanted to ask, well, what did Rasul Allah do in his time before announcing his mission? And we stated that Rasul Allah spent much time pondering over his own society in order to truly know and understand how to accomplish such a great mission of liberating so many thousands of minds. And in doing so, comprehensively pondering upon that task at hand: who is it that would be my ally? who is it that would be my enemy? how will people react? what are the fundamentals that I need to change within a society in order to begin the process of that liberation?

Now, that last point I make is the key to be able to move into the next part of the discussion, because that question that I just posed, that would have been in the mind of Rasul Allah: what are the fundamentals that are holding my Meccan community back? You see, as we stated yesterday, the Hejazan and specifically the Meccan community had various challenges within it.

They were a people who were polytheistic, they were worshipping idols. They were a people that would bury their daughters alive. They were a people that would inherit their own mothers as if they were property. They were people who would sell off their own family members rather than paying off the debts by selling off their own property to raise the money for it. If this is a community like this, I ask you a question. Where would you begin? How do you liberate that community, both at the individual level of the family that is surrounding him, but also in terms of the tribes and the social structure they have therein?

They had slaves and they would war with each other as tribes, they had pacts, they were a community that had trade caravans. They were a community in Mecca that was a central point for pilgrimage for people around the Arabian community. They were the middle point on trade caravans from Yemen to Syria. How do you understand this community and how do you liberate it? Well, where does this Noble Messenger begin? Again, if we understand the way in which Rasul Allah does it, we will begin to understand the way in which the Awaited Saviour of humanity will implement in his own time.

Here we're going to look at a particular verse of the Quran and see how this is an archetype to understand 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 people of Mecca. Bring to mind everything you know about the Meccan community and what was it that was underlying the immorality that had engulfed that society?

There is a wonderful verse of Qur'an. Now, when the ayaat of Qur'an are revealed, they are revealed for various reasons, aren't they? Some of them will be prophecies of the future. Some of them will be in response to questions that were asked by the community: يَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الۡاَنۡفَالِ​ 'Yas'aloonaka 'anil anfaali' (8:1) وَيَسۡـئَلُوۡنَكَ عَنِ الرُّوۡحِ 'yas'aloonaka 'anirrooh' (17:85).

A question was asked and a verse would descend in order to give the appropriate response to the community. Sometimes verses will be speaking about the events of the past. Sometimes verses were revealed in order to capture what was happening in the society at the time. So that when the verse is recited, number one, Rasul Allah has a hujja, has an evidence upon his own community to say, I am not ignorant of what is being said within the community. You know, there's an interesting incident that happens soon towards the last moments of Rasul Allah's life. There was a group of people that had plotted and planned the Saqifa. They had already planned it - Saqifa wasn't a spontaneous movement, where some people decided to land-grab or to grab the movement of Islam. This was well-conceived beforehand.

The narration states that people, certain individuals, gathered by the holy Ka'aba in order to discuss the plan that they had created. Rasul Allah himself had gone to those people and said, do you not know that I am aware of the plan that has been hatched? They responded to him and said, 'Ya Rasul Allah, how do you know? We spoke in the darkness of the night, quiet, there was no one by the Ka'aba. And this is where we hatched a plan. How do you know about it?'

He responded by saying, 'Do you not know that my Lord is the Lord of the Ka'aba? You have gone into His house and decided to create your plots. You're telling me, I don't know about the plot at hand?' When sometimes verses are revealed they were capturing discussions between people in society - 'as a hujja my Lord has revealed to me what you have said, so that I am aware and I can show you what is taking place'. The thought process, the mentality, and then because this is a Hujja that I know what you have said in secret, does this not prove I am Rasul Allah Muhammad, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. You said something in secret and it got to me only through revelation, surely this is hujja upon you that I know what is occurring between you.

One of the lines that the Meccan community would say to each other about the mission of Rasul Allah. The Qur'an quotes them by saying: اَجَعَلَ الۡاٰلِهَةَ اِلٰهًا وَّاحِدًا 'Aja'alal aalihata Ilaahanw Waahidan'(38:5), ' It's a surprise statement - What? 'Does this man, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) wish to change our gods, multiple plural into one God?' What a strange thing this is. Now, think about that very closely. Imagine you reading this verse of Qur'an - what would you think when you came across this verse?

Don't read it and go to the next one, trying to finish the chapter quickly; pause: what's being said here? Allah ta'ala has decided to capture? You know, He has six and a half thousand verses. Qur'an could have been a million verses. Allah ta'ala decided I'm going to limit it to six and a half thousand. Therefore, for every verse is precious. There must be something in there that is huge and the Lord of the universe wishes us to know about. It's not ordinary. 'Aja'alal aalihata Ilaahanw Waahidan' (38:5), - it captures a moment in Meccan history in order to make it for the rest of time. To say, look, don't skip this verse, understand it. I'm going to record it in history; its not hadeeth that can be debated. This is a revelation to you. 'What does this man, Muhammad, wish to make our 'gods' into one God? What a strange thing this is'.

You see here, this shows the surprise of the Meccan community at the way in which Rasul Allah was going about his mission. Nowhere in the Qur'an, nowhere in the hadeeth would you find the same type of verbal surprise and opposition to the ahkaam of Rasul Allah? You will not find them saying, 'What! Does he make us pray? What? Does he make us fast? What? Does he make us go on pilgrimage? What? Does he make us give charity'?

It's very interesting, actually, sometimes Muslims today do the opposite: 'What? My God wants me to pray five times a day, I have to wake up at 3:00 in the morning? What? My Lord wants me to fast for 30 days? My Lord wants me to wear hijab? Why would He want it, how does He benefit from these things'? The Muslim has changed - the Meccans and Madinans never complained about the ahkaam. Today, the Muslims complain about the ahkaam.

What the Meccans complained about was: 'I don't understand why this man is turning my 'gods' into one God'? This was the starting point of the mission of Rasul Allah. But why was it so important to remove the multitude of gods from within the Meccan society? For what reason? Let me explain. The Meccan community was a specific type of community with their own challenges. Shirk was the underlying problem of that community, polytheism: the abhorrent nature of polytheism. There are two types of polytheism.

And this is very important. The first type of polytheism is the literal polytheism of having multitude of gods, and what they would do is they would make their own gods out of stone and out of wood, and then they would worship those gods, correct? We have Laat and Uzza and Manat and Ra'ina, yes? What they would do is they would literally make things and then worship it. This is one type of shirk.

The second type of Shirk is the one where we make something a god by virtue of it being a desire in our hearts. Money, power, ego and these sorts of things, they become the gods within us because we worship them, they are actually our gods.

This is why the Hadith from the Prophet said, 'I fear for you shirk, after I die.' They said, 'Ya Rasul Allah, what do you mean? We've become Muslims, we stopped worshipping Laat and Uzza and Manat and Ra'ina and the three hundred and sixty five gods that they had within the Ka'aba, we stopped worshipping them. 'La ilaha illa Allah. What do you mean?' He said, 'No. The type of shirk I fear for you is like a black ant on a dark stone in a dark night. And that is what you take from within your heart to be your god and what you worship instead of the true God that you should be worshipping'.

Here, there's two types of shirk. The first type of shirk that Rasul Allah had to defeat was the first one, the former one, which was the gods that they had created out of stone. Why? Why was this so important to uproot? Think about this. Imagine now you are the Lord of the universe. What difference does it make to Him if you worship a stone? Does it take an iota away from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala? It doesn't. So why does He say that this is the grevious of all grevious sins? Why is shirk such a problem in the eyes of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala?Let me explain.

Imagine now, you or I make a god out of my own hands with a stone or stick and then worship it and think that it can better my life somehow? Can there be anything more intellectually bereft than that action, in the world? Just think about it. I make a pile of stones. And then I say: 'Lord, increase my wealth. Lord, I would like to have children - please, grant me healthy children. Lord, I am unwell, cure my disease'.

You know, the great companion, Aba Dharr Ghaffari, may Allah bless him - fourth or fifth convert in the history of Islam - you know how he moved away from shirk? One day it is said that he was sitting, just relaxing and just sitting in front and his God was there in front of him - a pile of stones. The narration says a fox walked past and urinated on his idol. He thought to himself, 'My God, if my Lord cannot even protect itself from the urination of this idol, how can it protect me? It can't be that I worship these, it doesn't make sense'. And so he managed to illuminate himself from that from within him.

Now here, think about this, if you as a human being can believe that what you create now has power over your destiny, what else am I incapable of making you believe? Does that make sense? If I managed to corrupt your intellect so much, to the extent that you're willing to believe that that podium that we had created from our own hands has capacity to increase my life, if you're willing to believe that, I'm willing to convince you of anything else within this universe.

True or not? What difference is there because I've convinced you of that. Now, if in society, I tell you as a norm, it is possible it is good to bury your daughters alive, the fact that I convinced you to worship that, means that you're now willing to bury your daughter's alive as a societal norm. Can you see that? If I had a societal norm that said, inherit your women and your mothers as property, what difference would it make to you? Because I've already convinced you that that is your God. You've already succumbed to having chained your intellect. There is no human growth in you. Nothing in here is going to register because you've been corrupted intellectually to that point.

Now, here, the way in which the Meccan society was, is very important to understand in its process of elimination and why people objected to having multiple gods being broken into one God. If you remember, when we normally teach in madressa and what we learned growing up, was that there were three hundred and sixty five idols within the Holy Ka'aba.

Every tribe had their own idol from around the Hejazan area. Certain idols were considered to be greater than other idols. We mentioned Laat and Uzza and Manat and Ra'ina, these were the greatest of the idols, amongst the three hundred and sixty five. Each of the idols represented something. One idol was for rizq, one was for health, one was for whatever and so on and so forth. Now, because certain tribes held the greater gods and the most important gods, they also had a monopoly on the usage and the approach of those gods.

Think about this: I'm sorry to use you three here by the wall, but, I'm going to say that you are the heads of the Quraishan tribes and you each have a great God, Laat and Uzza and Manat. Imagine each one of these three have one of the greater gods. One is for rizq, one is for health and one is for war. Now all of you from around the Hejazan area, you don't have one of the greater gods, do you? You have one of the smaller gods. So where are you going to go in order to get your hajaat accepted? You're going to go to those tribes and those gods, aren't you? Now, what that means is they have a monopoly over the usage of those gods. What do you think those tribal leaders did? They charged as much as they could in order to have your hajaats accepted.

So what you would have to do is, you would have to go and give something as a tribute to the tribal leaders or you would have to go and give a great amount of wealth in order to have access to the gods that you're asking for an increase in rizq from. Now, remember, if I've managed to convince you intellectually and, you know, in today's society, the way control is through media and corporations and lobbying, it's the same thing. It's the same thing. It was just within the Arabian paradigm.

Now these people are being intellectually curtailed, morally curtailed. There is a structure within the society that says that you must go there. What happens? The rich get richer because you are paying them for the gods and the poor get poorer. We'll come to it, the 99 percenters, we will come to it in our series. Here, this was the construct of the Meccan society. Do you think that the leaders of the Meccan society, Abu Lahab, Abu Jahal, Abu Sufiyan, Abu Abu, do you think the people of Banu Umayya, do you think that they would have wanted their gods to have been broken? Because when you break their gods, you break the very fabric of the construct of their society that they are living on. They are no longer kings amongst men. They have nothing to offer society. Once you break their gods into pieces, everyone is now equal.

What did the verse say, 'Aja'alal aalihata Ilaahanw Waahidan'(38:5), 'does he want to make all of our multiple gods into one God? What a strange thing this is'. Why were they objecting to it? When Rasul Allah would bring ahkaam and say, pray to the Ka'aba - there was no objection to it. The objection was the objection of the gods being broken within the Meccan society. But why did Rasul Allah have to break the gods firstly within the Meccan society was because it was constraining their intellectual thought process. It was the one thing that which there was putting their thought process in chains. They were unable to think for themselves and had become nothing more than robots.

Even today within society, in our own community, you have people who tell you not to think. Someone says think, the ones that want control over the society will say he is causing problem in community because he wants you to think. Rasul Allah's first message was: think, break the intellectual chain that is upon you. Listen to this story and the amazing nature of how Rasul Allah broke those chains from within his society in Mecca and within Medina. If you understand the next two stories, you will understand the Meccan movement in its entirety and then InshaAllah, you will be able to juxtapose that correctly with Mahdi, salamullah alayh.

There is a narration that says that after a few of the tribes had become Muslim or maybe a small group had become Muslim, Rasul Allah Muhammad, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] would send his ambassadors to that tribe in order to teach them Islam. They converted, but now you need to know more about Islam. Now, obviously, Rasul Allah knows their mentality and how to begin to remove the intellectual chains that were upon them.

He tells the ambassador of his to do the following. What did the ambassador say? The ambassador says Rasul Allah, your Prophet, your master has commanded you to do the following. They said, yes tell me, no problem. We converted for him, whatever Rasul Allah says, we're going to do. Brilliant. First thing you have to do is dig a trench around your town or around your small village. Everyone says no problem. They begin to dig, they dig, and eventually this trench, this hole that is dug out. What now? Your master, Rasul Allah tells you to go and collect lots of brush, lots of wood, place it in there. They collect everything and they put it in there. Now what do we do? Rasul Allah says, 'Set it alight'. No problem. So now there's this roaring fire just in front of their town. What now, the ambassador says, Rasul Allah tells you to jump into the fire.

This is a narration, Rasul Allah says jump, all of you, the whole town jump into the fire. Excuse me? What? Yes, are you not willing to follow Rasul Allah? Jump into the fire. At this moment, the narration says the town or this small group was split into two. Fifty percent of them said, 'This is Rasul Allah, we have to listen to what he tells us. We have to jump into the fire'. Fifty percent said, 'but It doesn't make sense. How can Rasul Allah ask me to jump? That would be suicide? What would he gain from that?' They begin to debate amongst themselves. The emissary is watching. In the end, that second group convinced the first group and say, 'We are not going to jump into the fire. I'm sorry if this is the religion of this man, we don't want it.'

The ambassador goes back to Rasul Allah. What was the outcome? Rasul Allah says, 'Had they jumped into the fire, they would have been raised in fire on the Day of Judgment'. What do you mean Ya Rasul Allah? I am trying to break the intellectual chains that have held them their whole life. They had been living in this way all their lives under the Quraishan system. I need them to be able to think logically, intellectually, tangibly, morally about what's right and what's wrong. I am not going to be asking them to do something like this. How can I ask them to jump into the fire? I'm trying to liberate their souls. Had they jumped into the fire, they would have been raised in fire on the day of judgment. What did he try to do? He had to break the moral and intellectual chains that were holding them and get them to think for themselves for a moment.

Now, everyone here is well acquainted with majalis and stories of the sixth Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq, salwatullahi wa salamuhu alaih, [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] and you are going to say: but isn't there a story of a companion jumping into the fire and him being rewarded for it?' What's the story? One of the companions comes to the sixth Imam and says, 'Ya abna Rasul Allah, we are ready to overthrow the tyrannical regime. We want to fight for you. Open the sword and we'll go'. At that moment, al-Makki, the great companion is walking past. What is in front of them? The tannoor, the giant oven, flaming. As the companion walks past, the sixth Imam, alayhi assalam, says to him, 'Companion, come here, jump into that tannoor.' Immediately, without even asking a question, what does the companion do? Jumps into the tannoor. The companion is told by the Imam, 'I need people like him, not people like you, that will not jump into the tannoor'.

We all know the story, don't we? It's not new to us. You will say as a rational person, how is it that there is a narration from Rasul Allah that said had he jumped into the tannoor into the pit full of fire, they would be raised in fire. Yet the sixth Imam said to the companion, jump in the fire and the companion jumped in the fire and was praised for it. There is not a contradiction here. It is obvious. Look at the difference in circumstance and scenario: what was the factors of the community, the environment of the time? In Rasul Allah's time he had a Meccan community that a day before were believing that that [points to podium] was God. He needed to break them from that chain. The other ones believe from the tongue, in the sixth Imam, he needed to break that chain and make him believe in here that the Imam can turn fire into coolness: bardan wa salaaman. So no contradiction - the narrations are correct within their own framework.

Here, you will see how elementary the message of Rasul Allah was to the people of Mecca. What's the opening statement he said? 'Kulo La ilaha illa Allah tuflihoon' - 'say, la ilaha illa Allah and you will be successful'. Now, think about that. You and I have a very rich theology today, don't we? We have to teach our youth in madressa from the age of four years old until 16 years old and still they don't know everything about theology, do they? It's still fairly elementary. Rasul Allah came to a community and just said, say, 'la ilaha illa Allah tuflihoon'. La ilaha illa Allah is not sufficient for you and I, is it? Why? Because we've received so much more, we have to be judged in accordance with what we've received.

We have to have la ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun Rasul Allah, Aliun waliullah hatta Imam al-Hujja, alayhi assalam. That community was just told: break that first chain that is holding you down and that is enough for your success in the afterlife. It's so elementary. Here, I will show you here in Qur'an, this is the methodology of the prophets of before and the way in which Rasul Allah had to deal with his earliest of community.

As an example, very famously, you will find within Suratul Baqara, Chapter number two, verse number two hundred and fifty eight, the verses speak about Ibrahim, alayhi assalam. Remember how Ibrahim, alayhi assalam, had to remove the first intellectual chains that were holding his people down in regards to shirk.

Allah, Subhaanahu wa ta'aala, says, 'Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Alam tara ila alladhee Haaajja Ibraaheema fee Rabbiheee an aataahullaahul mulka idh qaala Ibraaheemu Rabbiy alladhee yuhyee wa yumeetu'(2:258), 'Ibrahim said to Namrood, what? He said to him, 'My Lord is the one who raises the dead and makes people die'. Namrood responded by saying, 'qaala ana uhyee wa yumeetu'(2:258), 'I can do the same, I'm also God. I can also give life and I can give death'. What does he do? He brings two people from the jails, he sets one free, he puts one to death; he said, 'Look, I give life and I give death as well. What's the difference between me and your God?' This time, now he's trapped him. Ibrahim, alayhi assalam has trapped him, and now he shows him how to open up the mind and to prove that you are not God. How does he respond? He responds by saying, 'qaala Ibraaheemu fa innal laaha yaatee bishshamsi minal mashriqi faati bihaa minal maghribi'(2:258) - 'My Lord, is the one that raises the sun from one side and sets it on the other. If you are truly God, then you do the opposite and raise it from the other side and set it from the other side'.

You see, when there was shirk, when there was something intellectually stagnating a community, the Prophets always took that first brick out. You know, when you play Jenga or something like that, you end up pulling the various pins out, don't you? And it becomes weaker, it sways. But the person who pulls the wrong pin out that is holding up every other pin or every other brick, once you pull that one proper pin out, the entire thing collapses. It doesn't exist anymore. Rasul Allah had to break what was intellectually stagnating them and was stopping their moral progression as a society, that was holding them back from any type of progression.

This is why so much of the ayaat of Qur'an, especially in the Meccan time, is so elementary. When you read the Qur'an, think about these things. Look at these sorts of verses. Let me show you one or two, if you don't mind.

In Suratul Baqara, verse number one hundred and four, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says and He addresses the believers in this particular verse, 'Bismillah Al-Rahman. Al-Rahim. 'Yaaa ayyu alladheena aamanoo,' - Oh, you who believe, 'laa taqooloo raa'inaa,' do not say, oh God Raa'ina, 'wa qoolu undhurnaa wasma'oo; wa lilkaafireena 'adhaabun aleem'(2:104), - in a verse of Qur'an, Allah, Subhaanahu wa ta'ala, has to go and tell the believers do not call upon your old gods. How elementary a line this is to believers. Why? Because they were so early in their intellectual progression.

Another one mentioned twice in Quran, and I'll mention it from Suratul Israa, Chapter number 17, Allah, Subhaanahu wa ta'ala, says something phenomenal. He says: 'Bismillah Al-Rahim, Wa laa taqraboo maalal yateemi illaa billatee hiya ahsanu'(17:34) 'do not approach the wealth of the yateem, the orphans, except in goodness or what is best for them'. What is this verse about? People, community in Hejaz, part of them, they were acquainted in taking orphans and adopting orphans. Do you know why? Because their parents had died, leaving them great wealth. So now if I become the parent of a child, a young child who cannot exercise authority over his own wealth, what would I do? I would appropriate the wealth for myself. Now, that's obviously immoral, isn't it? I mean, it doesn't take, you know, a moral giant or a moral philosopher, or Aristotle, to say that that's wrong. That as a societal practice, you adopt children for the purpose of stealing their wealth.

Yet, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala has to reveal two verses in the Qur'an to tell people not to do that. It's so elementary, this starting process of the movement of Rasul Allah in the Meccan community, because he had to break that first chain. And this is the crux, that first chain that was holding them down.

If you've understood this correctly, you and I would begin to do two things. And it's our homework for this evening. It would be: one, to think about which parts of this world might be similar to a Meccan society.

I'm not saying that we have specifically places that worship idols like that, you may disagree or you may agree, whatever. I'm talking about, the way in which that society has been corrupted by their 'aql being constricted and not being allowed to flourish as independent, rational, autonomous human beings. If you can think about where in this world, in societies, in communities, in countries, in cities, there are places that have become intellectually stagnated and so they are now morally bereft by virtue of that chain that firstly holds them down - that is the today, a contemporary modern equivalent of Mecca.

Your second part of the homework, which will come to, would be: 'Well, how then does Mahdi, salamullah alayh, liberate those societies when he comes, if he were to come today? Tomorrow, what we will do is InshaAllah focus on the Medinan society. And we will ask ourselves, what were the distinguishing features and attributes of a Medinan society, which was very different to Mecca. They were not pagans. They believed in the Taurat and the Injeel, and they were worshippers of God, and they had come from Jerusalem to Medina to prepare for that one Prophet.

The way in which they rejected the Prophet was different to the way in which the Meccan society rejected the Prophet and the way in which he had to deal with them was very different. Tomorrow, Inshallah this will be our discourse, and again, we will think about the way in which this would be similar to the Medinan societies of today and eventually we will come in our discourse to juxtapose that with the time of the Awaited Savior.

So in conclusion, today, we stated that the Meccan society was unique. Its primary problem was Shirk, not the second type of shirk, what is in their hearts. The shirk that was intellectually holding them back. As a response, Rasul Allah had to pull out that shirk from them, and that was the challenge of his time. The community said that they didn't want that or the leaders, of course, didn't want him to pull out that brick of shirk because it would collapse the control that they had on the society there in. 'Aja'alal aalihata Ilaahanw Waahidan'(38:5) 'does he make our multiple 'gods' into one God'? This is something for you and I to think about. What are the multiple gods that people have today? And therefore, we will begin to understand the Meccan society better Inshallah and the one that we live in today.

Wal hamdulillah Rabbal Aalameen, wasallah ‘ala Sayedina wa Nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi at-Tahireen[Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. Please raise your hands and join me in dua – 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 Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.

Ya Allah! There are many people around the world going through such desperate times, there are those people in a state of war and oppression, those homeless and in refugee camps, natural disaster, poverty and disease and illness, Ya Allah, grant them all safety, security and victory for the sake of Muhammad and Aali Muhammad.

Ya Allah! Help us in this month to fast properly and to remove the chains that hold us down. And InshaAllah, in the final moments of our life, we die in the love of Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad. Wassalam alaikum jamee'an wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. May I ask you to conclude this discussion with three loud salawaats in honor of the Awaited Savior of humanity, the master and lord of our age, Imam al-Mahdi ajjalallahu ta'ala farrajahush shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]