Philosophy Of Ghaybah 6/14 - The Liberation of Madina

A'udhubillahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem. Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil 'aalameen, Al-Hamdulillahil ladhee hadaanaa lihaadha, wa maa kunna linahtadiya law laaa ann hadaana Allah, 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, 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, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] allowed us in our series to arrive at the discussion yesterday observing the distinguishing features of the Meccan community and how it was that Rasul Allah Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa aalhi wassalam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] , set about on the course of liberating that community from the chains that held them back. And what we stated yesterday was that the mission of Rasul Allah and the awaited savior of humanity is that trajectory of growth within the human self, within the community to remove the shackles and the burdens they have placed upon themselves and for them to ultimately arrive at a point of genuine humanity and a righteous being. Now, that was the mission.

The methodology, first and foremost, was to understand one's own community, to reflect, to ponder, to know the way of liberating that community. Then we went yesterday to speak about Mecca, and we stated that Mecca was a pagan society. It was ravaged by the shirk that they were doing. The type of shirk was that as a community they would make with their own hands their gods, out of sticks and stones and then worship them.

And of course, why should this be such a problem for Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala? Why should shirk be something that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, hates so much? At the intellectual level, it is a debilitating disease for one to think that they create with their own hands and that thing has some authority over them. And so once they began to be engulfed and encompassed by these notions, as a society things were shaped around this intellectual deficiency, that I could create a God out of stone and then worship it. Why?

Because if a community has regressed to this point of thinking, there is no stopping them in thinking anything else. They can justify anything else, be it killing or be it oppression of any type. The social structure of Mecca was that the largest of tribes had the greatest of idols and so people would come to those tribes and pay them a gift, pay them a tribute in order to worship those idols in the hope that those idols would give them their hajaat and respond to their needs.

This created a monopoly within the society. And of course, when Rasul Allah came to break those idols, this was a threat to those individuals at the top of the tree, a threat to the way in which the society was structured for them.

And we highlighted the verse of the Quran which states: 'Aja'alal aalihata Ilaahanw Waahidan'(38:5),'does this man wish to make our gods multiple into one single god'? What a strange thing this is because this was turning their society entirely on its head.

This evening, we want to briefly go into the discussion of what the attributes and the distinguishing features of the Madinan society were. As we've stated, the reason we do this, or this part of the series, this task is for us to understand the methodology of Rasul Allah so that we can juxtapose this with the methodology of the awaited savior of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi , ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

At various levels, the Meccan community is distinguished from the characteristics of the Madinan community. Yet there are times in the Holy Qur'an where Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, mentions them together and then both the Meccan community and the Madinan community share certain distinguishing features together. Here, we want to talk about this and look at what they shared and look at what they differed in. Here, there is a beautiful verse in Suratul Baqara and again, these verses speak at a very general level. But when we think about them and we delve deeper into them, we will think about why Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, would reveal such a verse to such a community.

He states in Suratul Baqara verse number one hundred and five, 'Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. Maa yawaddul ladheena kafaroo min ahlil Kitabi wa lal mushrikeena ai-yunazzala 'alaikum min khairim mir Rabbikum' (2:105)- 'that it is the disbelievers from Ahlul Kitab and the polytheists, what do they want? They wish not that goodness descends upon you from your Lord'.

Here, there's a number of points, if you look at it very clearly. Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala states, 'Maa yawaddul ladheena kafaroo min ahlil Kitabi wa lal mushrikeena'(2:105) - that there are disbelievers, kuffaar, people who reject, from the Ahlul Kitab and the mushrikeen. So here, the first thing is that Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, is describing groups of people therein the Ahlul Kitab, and we would state that this is what we're going to speak about, about the Madinan community, the Ahlul Kitab who have been given previous scriptures, Taurat and Injeel and Zaboor.

Then there are the mushrikeen. Now, this would be generally the pagan society of Mecca. Here, Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, speaks about them both, but as a requisite to mentioning both, He says something very interesting. 'Maa yawaddul ladheena kafaroo min ahlil Kitabi wa lal mushrikeena'(2:105) - that there are people from amongst the disbelievers of these two groups that wish not for goodness to descend upon you. Here, one would question, and this is something we will come to later on Inshallah, but why does Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala ,specify that there are disbelievers from Ahlul Kitab that don't want goodness to flow amongst you?

Logically, you would say, well, aren't all Ahlul Kitab disbelievers? Or maybe that's how we've been brought up to think that all are brandished within one category, or maybe that even within Ahlul Kitab there are categories of people. If you want to look further within this, read Suratul Bayyinah of the Holy Quran, and you'll see how Allah , Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, distinguishes categories of people within Ahlul Kitab, within even the mushrikeen. Here Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, is specifying that there are kuffaar. What is a kaafir and how does this relate to the people within Ahlul Kitab?

The kaafir we often denote as all the same, someone who is a disbeliever. In fact, this is not correct. There is a wonderful tradition from the Commander of the Faithful - Ali ibn abi Talib, salawaatullah wa assalamu alayh [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], Imam Ali distinguishes five types of kuffaar, people who have certain types of kufr within them. And he goes through them and highlights verses of Qur'an, five different ayaat of Qur'an that distinguishes different types of kufr.

For example, one of them will be, he who rejects the blessings from Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, this is also a kaafir, meaning I or you or anyone can be considered kaafir at this level. Here Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, is specifically speaking about the type of kufr when you know truth in front of you, but you reject truth even though it is in front of you. That is the meaning of kaafir in its general sense. Here, there are people Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala is saying that amongst the polytheists and amongst the Ahlul Kitab, truth has been brought to them directly. They are aware of truth, but they have falsified and belied these truths. And so they are distinguished in this way as being disbelievers from amongst them.

Why? What do they want? What do they not want? What do they want not to happen to the Muslim community? 'Ai-yunazzala 'alaikum min khairim mir Rabbikum' (2:105), their problem is that when the grace of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, descends to the Muslim community, they specifically do not want this. They go up against this. There is a hatred for this. They can be people who are Ahlul Kitab and they don't have a problem with the Muslim community thriving. We have that in the world today, don't we? We have Christians, we have Jews, we have Hindus, we have Sikhs, when something good happens to the Muslim community, they are happy with this.

I saw just yesterday on social media a wonderful tweet that came from a Hindu. It was on Facebook, but they put it onto Facebook. It was originally from Twitter. It was a Hindu individual. Now they're is normal garb. You can tell it's a Hindu by the name, by the description. And The Hindu has tweeted: normally, I would mow my lawn today, but as it's Ramadan and it's hot outside and my Muslim neighbor cannot drink and eat, so they may be weaker, I will mow his lawn today for him because he is in a state of fasting.

Look at the human characteristics. There are people who will look for goodness for other religions because they think at the level of humanity and not sectarianism. The disease, hear the words, the disease within the Muslim community and within certain religions is rivalry between faiths, rivalry between the sects. Something happens for the Ahlul Sunnah wa Jam'a, I don't want them to have goodness. Where did you get this from? This isn't the way Islam is and we'll prove this specifically in the way in which Rasul Allah governed Madina in a few minutes.

And of course, this is also a disease within the Shi'a community as well. They don't want goodness for their Sunni brethren, they don't want goodness for their Sufi brethren, they don't like to see other Muslims come up, where have you got this from? This is nothing to do with Islam whatsoever, whatsoever. There are non-Muslims that want goodness for Muslims. Muslims should want goodness for other faiths as well. We should want the Christian community to flourish. They are serving God. They are being good. They are helping in charity. They do not want lies and evils to spread within the world. Then there are those from Ahlul Kitab and mushrikeen that want the opposite. What do they want? They do not want goodness to come upon the Muslim community.

Here, it becomes obvious what Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, is saying: the expansion of Islam, people freely coming towards Islam, the fact that this happens, frightens those people because they think that this is some sort of threat to their own existence and to their own religions. Look at how Fox News will scapegoat the Muslim community when there is a rise within conversion in Islam, all of a sudden this is a threat to others. It's not a threat, live your life as a Christian, live your life as a Sunni, live your life as a Hindu. We want nothing more than goodness for you.

Here there is a group of people from the mushrikeen and from the Ahlul Kitab that do not want goodness for the Muslim community. This was highlighted within the Qur'an early on to the Muslims to note what was occurring; that there were going to be partnerships to be made between the kuffaar of Ahlul Kitab, the rejecters of goodness of Ahlul Kitab and the kuffaar of the polytheists.

Don't you see today that there are same things happening? There are allegiances being made against goodness and that sects and that countries and that religions are working together in order to overthrow goodness. It is obvious today to the world that Saudi Arabia and the illegal and illegitimate state of Israel have come together in order to overthrow goodness.

This was happening 1,400 years ago. And the Qur'an describes that in their time, partnerships were being made. Why? Because they did not want goodness to come for the Muslim community. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, says 'wallaahu yakhtassu birahmatihee mai-yashaaa,'(3:74) - 'Allah decides who He will choose for the goodness and His Rahma to fall upon', 'wallaahu zul fadlil'azeem', - 'and Allah is certainly the owner of all fadl and all Azeem'.

Here, the community in this way is similar: some parts of the Meccan community, some parts of the Madinan community are together in the way in which they are. However, in other ways, they are very distinguished from each other. The Madinan community is primarily a plural society. What do we mean by a plural society? Meaning it has many types of people within it. Mecca was a polytheistic community. This is the practice that over-rided the culture of the community. Madina had Jews, it had Christians, it had Zoroastrians, so it was pluralistic. It had different shades of ideas. When you have different shades of people, you are also going to have very rich, complex cultures.

Our culture here is primarily a Shi'a culture, but even within that, there are different types of cultures within the Shi'a culture. The Khoja is very distinguished from the Pakistani, which is different from the Irani, which are different from the Iraqi, which is different from the Lubnani and so on and so forth. And so when you go further away from just the Shi'i culture, go out to the Muslim culture, there are shades of the Muslim culture. In the same way, the Madinan society had religions and it had sects from within it.

Not everyone believed the same thing. It was a community practicing different aspects of faith within itself. They were also distinguished by virtue that they historically had gone to war with the pagan society. Meaning that they often were in opposition to the culture of what was taking place in the pagan community. Do not think that they had made allegiance beforehand. When Islam to them became a threat in their minds, that is when they united in order to try to oppose Islam, such as is the verse in Suratul Baqara, verse 105 that we just mentioned.

Because they were this way, they also had a rich history that would distinguish them. Qur'an often highlights the way in which the rivalry between the Jews and Christians were. One of the verses, interestingly says, 'And the Jews say that there is no goodness in the Christians and the Christians say that there is no goodness in the Jews. Allah decides who's going to have goodness and who's not going to have goodness'(2:113) . It's just like the immature people within the Muslim community. The Shi'as say the Sunnis have no goodness in them, nothing, they're not going to heaven. And then the Sunnis will say or some will say that there's nothing good within the Shi'a. No goodness from them. Allah decides who is going to heaven, not you and me. I have not become God, and neither have you.

This was tearing the Madinan society, these rivalries from within them. They had these problems. Then, specifically because the Madinan community had a majority of Jews, many of the tribes, either in Madina or surrounding Madina, were Jews. Why? Because they had migrated to wait for the coming of Rasul Allah. They had their own distinguishing features from within them.

Number one, as a challenge to Rasul Allah, one of the biggest challenges to Rasul Allah was that feeling of superiority over everybody else. See how every human being has to be careful of that, that you don't think that because you've been granted a faith that you're better than somebody else. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, had granted the gifts to Banu Israeel. He says, 'Yaa Baneee Israaa'eelaz-kuroo ni'matiyal lateee an'amtu 'alaikum' (2:122), - 'bring to mind the nai'maat that We have blessed upon you'. What were the blessings that were given to Banu Israeel? The single biggest blessing given to any community is only one, and that is guidance.

The fact that they had been given Musa, alayhi assalam, Prophets, Taurat - they had been elevated to be the chosen people of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. The problem with that is that that had created pride and arrogance in their outlook in the rest of the world.

Challenging this, in Suratul Jum'a, Allah - Subhanahu wa Ta'ala responds by saying, 'yaaa ayyuhal ladheena haadoo in za'amtum annakum awliyaaa'u lilaahi min dooni an-naas fatamannawul mawta in kuntum saadiqeen' (62:6)- 'O Jews, if you think that you are truly the chosen of God on Earth, then invoke death upon yourselves'. Number one, if you are certain that you're the favorites of God, when you meet him, you're not going to have any problems, are you? So invoke death so you die and then you get to meet God, you will find out whether truly you have remained on guidance or you have not.

Number two, it questions as to whether they are prepared to die for what they believe in. We can talk and then there are people that will walk the talk. Let us see how certain you are when it comes to this particular matter. It was a challenge to these individuals and so pride had come to this community.

It was going to be a huge challenge to Rasul Allah. The second big challenge for Rasul Allah was the way in which they had kept to or not kept to their scriptures. Dozen verses have been revealed in the Qur'an addressing the Jewish community and Banu Israel specifically on the way in which they would forge their own books, the way in which they would corrupt the meaning of their own books, the way in which they would literally take out and change the words that were in their books in order to say something different.

Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, describes them: 'alladheena yaktuboonal Kitab bi aidihim'(2:79)- 'there are those people that write the book with their own hands', and then what do they do? They attribute it to Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. They say these things are from God and they attribute these writings to Allah - Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. Of course, Rasul Allah Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wassalam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] has warned the Muslim community about this in the same way. 'Man kadhdhiba 'alaiyya muta'ammidan', - 'he who lies about me knowingly, he will have a seat of fire made for him in the aakhira'.

He who lies about me knowingly, that is the punishment. So here we have these interesting features of the Madinan community, that there are religions, there are sects, there are cultures, there are trials from within the way in which those religions have developed over hundreds and thousands of years.

There are parts of them that will openly belie Rasul Allah and there are parts of that same Madinan community that will not do that. Now, what happens in a community when there is a split? One group of people want to be truthful to their responsibilities and their covenants, and another doesn't. It creates that friction. One group is going to break away within the Madinan society. Now we see this picture being built up. Again, you and I would pose the question, just like I have tried to reflect on a world today that is similar to the Meccan society, do I see a world today that is similar to the Madinan society?

In fact, of course we do, because largely our world is a plural society that has so many distinguishing features or it has so much like the Madinan community. When Rasul Allah came to Mecca, he needed to liberate this community from the ways in which they were: from the infighting amongst themselves, from the jealousy and envy and pride and arrogance that was bubbling within faiths and within sects. He needed to find a way to govern those societies in a way in which they realized the true Islam and they themselves would come to Islam rather than thinking that they would be forced to become Muslims.

There is a very famous Lebanese historian. He died a few decades ago, that was a writer in the States and a writer in the U.K. by the name of Albert Hourani. Albert Hourani is considered to be one of the most prolific, profound historians of Islam in the modern era. And many of you can read his works in English, and all academics who take Islam seriously must read Albert Hourani's works. One of his books talking about the history of the Arabs, it's the title of the book, The History of the Arab Peoples, in there he writes a very interesting point. Reflect on this issue and see whether you agree with Albert Hourani or not. He says, that you have in Hijaz, a community that is primarily Bedouin and you have a community that is within its more city makeup, within its more metropolitan makeup, and they have a more city based life, if you can imagine what Medina and Mecca was like. So this is what the divide is like. Either you are in the city or you're in the Bedouin sites.

Then he says that because they were so aware of various religions within the Arabian community and outside the Arabian community, such as in Persia and in Rome, and this was constantly in flux and people were taking over each other and killing each other. One decade, there would be one family in power. For another century there would be a revolt and there'll be another revolution and this country would be in power.

The Arabian people, by and large, had got to a point whereby it didn't matter to them who was governing them, so long as their way of life wasn't disturbed. Now, that's a very interesting reflection, because many people here might be the same. You might think, well, it doesn't make a difference to me as to whether, you know, right wing conservatives come in or left wing liberals come in. You know, it's going to be the same policies the world will continue. Nothing really changes. You might have Conservatives, you might have Labour, you might have the middle ground; as long as I have my job, as long as I'm putting food on my table and I can worship freely within the four walls of my Imambargah, what does it matter? Some people are of that attitude. But if you are a truly religious community, you would care about the policies that are governing you. Why? Because it affects not only you within the four walls, but it also affects the wider country and the rest of the world, the way people govern.

So here Albert Hourani says it didn't really matter whether Rasul Allah came to Madina or he didn't come to Madina. But if it did, it was only if the way in which Rasul Allah was going to impact their governance that was going to decide as to whether they were going to care or not. I wonder whether that's true or not. Because as a religious society that is used to having Judeo-Christian principles in Madina, if Islam all of a sudden governs Madina, surely those rabbis and those priests would begin to fear for their own role and for their own flock and now not want a Muslim society governing their society that yesterday was acting freely in the way in which they could worship.

Here you can think about this for yourself. Tomorrow, if ISIS was to govern you, God forbid, if al-Qaeda was to govern you, God forbid, if the Republican Party was to govern you, God forbid, then how would you actually feel about that? It's going to impact you. It might be that Hourani was wrong in his analysis. But, Rasul Allah, being the representative of God Almighty, understands the human condition and the way in which people think and the way in which people react to having people govern over them. The human fears that you and I have when someone comes to power over you.

And so amongst the Jews, there was a great amount of fear for the spread of Islam. Why? One, they had just seen, Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj becoming Muslim within their own community. They had seen the challenge to the hierarchy within the Meccan society. And so when you put these two things together: that Jews are converting to Islam, the hierarchy and the social order of oppression is being challenged by Islam and Rasul Allah is a man that will not stand for it, you will naturally have a Judeo-Christian community that would not want to be governed by Islam because it threatens your way of life.

What did Rasul Allah do? How did he liberate those people and get them to love Islam, get them to see the beauty of Islam in a way which allowed them to not have the insecurities that they had? One of the first things that Rasul Allah did when he came to Madina was establish something known as the Madina Constitution. Constitution of Madina. Now here I ask you in your own time, go and read this document, it is the shining archetype of all agreements in the history of the world as to how the world should be. When you see here today the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so many of the articles that we espouse today were started by Rasul Allah, fourteen hundred years ago, sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]

This is a thirty seven point document available to you in English. Just go and Google it: The Constitution of Medina. Now, in this, there are several articles that are so important to understand the way Rasul Allah liberated the Madinan community and to then juxtapose that with the awaited savior of humanity.

The first point in the article is the most beautiful profound thing, one could ever read from the hand of Rasul Allah. Article one underscores this entire agreement between the Muslims and the party that wishes to govern within Madina, this plural society. He says all who sign up to this agreement are considered part of one ummah.

That is profound. You see here, because our language, the way we have been growing up, we're taught to think is by dividing people, not uniting people. We have a Shi'a Ummah, which means we are exclusivist. We have a Muslim Ummah, which means we are exclusivist. Yes, at one level we do, at another level we have humanity, which we are thinking about.

'Kaanan naasu ummatanw waahidatan'(2:213) - 'mankind were of one people, they were one kind'. It was when guidance came and humans manipulated guidance when people began to be divided. We're actually one people, and if we think like that, we will begin to think the way Rasul Allah thought. We are one human body of seven and a half billion people; we want to treat each other in that light.

Here, the first thing that underscores articles two and three, amazing the way which Rasul Allah now ensures this statement comes to life. He lists the Jewish tribes in Madina and on the outskirts of Madina. He says 'Banu Aws, Banu Khazraj, Banu Haritha, every one of them he lists one by one and he says, 'they are part of this Ummah'. Just to make sure you don't have anything, you don't think wrongly, all of you, even though you are a Jewish tribe, you are part of the Muslim Ummah; what is the condition? So long as you are being good human beings, you're not opposing the state, trying to overthrow the state, then you are part of this world, you are part of the Muslim Ummah.

Which means and he says in this part of the constitution, articles two and three, the same rights that reach the Muslim are the rights that reach you as the Jew or the Christian or the Zorastrian. He says in there, beautifully in Articles 18 and 19 as well, that the practices - this is key - the practices of the Jews and the Christians, they are protected. There is freedom of worship and freedom of religion for you. You want to build a synagogue, build it in Madina, no problem. You want to build a church in Madina? No problem, build it. We have for you freedom of worship.

Now, imagine a community that a moment ago was fearing Islam, that was never allowing this love and mutual respect for religions to blossom, that community that was at war with each other, a community that had religious rivalry with each other, Rasul Allah comes along and says, you and I may disagree in your practices, but so long as it is blossoming goodness, spirituality, servitude to God from within you, practice freely. I don't mind if you're going to practice your servitude of God as long as you are being good human beings.

Now, this flies in the face of everything we get taught. We're supposed to oppose everything the Sunni brothers do, we're supposed to oppose everything the Christians do, I'm supposed to lambast the Jews. Where did you get this from? Who told you this, who made this up? People that want to divide. People that have an agenda to divide people. Those speakers that are constantly abusing from the pulpit and constantly creating Fitna from the pulpit, they have not understood the first thing that Rasul Allah set up in the city of Madina. Thank God for Marajae like Ayatollah Sayed Sistani, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, may Allah grant them the longest of lives where they work tirelessly to build a community based on mutual love and respect for the other human being.

This is the Islam that we espouse. Where did they get this from? They got this from Rasul Allah in Madina because they saw the way Rasul Allah managed to liberate people. Now, when you have communities side by side as the way it is supposed to be, what happens? Each community has a chance to flourish. But you as a Christian or you as a Jew, or you as a Sunni or you as a Shi'a will be exposed to the practices of the other.

Let me ask a simple question. And I say this to all communities. How many of our Sunni brethren know Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya? Be honest. How many of them know of Nahjul Balagha? How many of them know Du'a Iftitah that we recite each night? The most wonderful, wonderful du'a from the Imam of our time. How many of them know Du'a Kumail? - the foremost expression of Tawheed in the history of humanity? I challenge you to find a better way to express wahdaaniyya than what is found in Du'a Kumail.

But because we've become exclusivist, they're not exposed to this. Rasul Allah's methodology was the complete opposite. Govern the Jews and the Christians in a way in which you do not place fear of their religion and losing their religion in themselves, one. Two, because the Muslims are living side by side with the Jews in a proper, plural society, they will be exposed to the beauties of Islam as opposed to having it shunned away from them and fear mongering being created by places like Fox News and other such outlets.

Can you see the methodology of Rasul Allah? People flocked, they heard, they listened, they loved, they came towards it. People converted. Do you know there is a story. They came to Rasul Allah and said to him, 'Ya Rasul Allah, we have converted from Christianity and Judaism to Islam. But we have not managed to convince our children yet. Can we force our children to become Muslims? Can be obligate them to become Muslims? The famous verse from Ayatal Kursi was descended: 'Laaa ikraaha fid deeni qat tabiyanar rushdu minal ghayy' (2:256). 'there is no compulsion in religion, but the truth will stand clear, manifest from falsehood'. Show them truth. They will notice a falsehood for themselves.

Rasul Allah liberated people in this way, by not making them fear their own religion. Look at what ISIS do today. Can you be a Christian today in Syria and Iraq or in the northern part of Iraq freely? Can you be a Shi'a Muslim in the northern part of Iraq or in the western part of Syria today? 50 percent of Syria and 30 percent of Iraq has been taken. There's no freedom of religion. My way or the highway and when I mean highway, I mean, the head is severed.

Where is Rasul Allah in that example? You will not find him. Rasul Allah encouraged people to practice for the sake of God. You will not be able to convert everyone. You are free, autonomous human beings. There will be people here who disagree with what I have to say. There will be people who I disagree with. You cannot help but have the beautiful plurality of humanity. God has made us that way to think differently, to think in accordance with our own world view, accept it rather than fight it.

Rasul Allah also understood that was part of humanity. He helped people. Look here, look at the way in which Rasul Allah understood plurality and engaged with them. How did he treat now the Muslims and the believers from within Islam, having understood the way in which he dealt with Jews and Christians.

There is a wonderful story that talks about a Muslim who unfortunately had not managed to overcome the disease of alcohol. As you know, in Madina, three verses were revealed to outlaw alcohol. And once alcohol was outlawed completely, many companions had managed to stop drinking. Unfortunately, even certain famous companions had not managed to stop drinking.

One companion in that alcoholism, that controlled him, went to Rasul Allah and said, 'Ya Rasul Allah, I can't stop drinking alcohol'. Now, here again, think about the way ISIS would deal with such a human being. An individual that has become weak, but wants beneficial guidance, otherwise he wouldn't have gone to Rasul Allah in the first place. 'Ya Rasul Allah, you've banned alcohol. Most people have given it up. I'm weak. I can't stop drinking.'

'Where do you drink?' 'I drink in my own house'. Rasul Allah said, 'Give it up for me'. He said, 'I can't. I'll tell you now. Yes, I give up but tomorrow I'll go back to it'. 'Please give it up'. 'I can't'. He said, 'OK. If you can't give up alcohol, what will you give up for me?' 'Ya Rasul Allah, whatever you want, just name it, I'll do it'. He says, 'Give up lying for me then. Will do you do this?' 'Absolutely. From this moment on, I will not lie at all once again'. And off he goes. Next day comes, he's in his house, he is drinking. He Comes to the mosque, sits with the righteous companions, each of the companions are describing what they had been doing during the day. One companion says, 'I went with Rasul Allah to this town to preach Islam'. Another one said, 'I've been fasting today'. Then another one. It comes to the man that's been drinking.

'What did you do today?' Now, he can't lie, can he, and say, I've been doing this when he hasn't? He would have to admit that he had been drinking. What does he do? He gets up, he rushes out of the Masjid, runs straight to Rasul Allah, 'Ya Rasul Allah, I've given up alcohol'. 'Why?' 'Everyone else is doing these things - I would have to admit to my friends that I'm a drunkard and I can't face that embarrassment in front of my friends'.

You see here, Rasul Allah understood the human being, the weakness, the nature of humanity. Qur'an says: 'khuliqal insaanu da'eef'(4:28) - 'We made man weak'. We understand what he's like. We understand your nature. Rasul Allah being Rahmatullahi Alameen sought to empower the human being to overcome his weakness, not to destroy him through his weakness. What did he do? You can drink, fine. I don't want you to do it, but give up lying for me and through this, he managed to help him give up his alcoholism.

Now, here, if you understood the way in which Rasul Allah was, in his intellectual outlook, in the way in which he saw human beings, their fears, their characteristics, you would understand, the way in which Rasul Allah liberates people. But the beauty of this is they were a people who had believed in God, in Adam, in Nuh, in Ibrahim, in Musa and the Christians in Isa. They believed in the Day of Judgment. They believed in everything, hell and heaven. But this one man they didn't believe in. And if you don't believe in me, that's fine. I'm going to get the best out of you because that is what is important for me. This is how he helped liberate them.

You see this on the battlefield with Aba 'Abdullah al-Husayn, salawatullah wa assalamuhu alayh [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. One of his last sayings, as he enters, he descends into that battlefield to speak to thirty thousand human beings, that a moment ago when he asked them and said, 'Do you not know I'm the grandson of Rasul Allah?' 'Yes, we do'. 'Do you not know I'm the son of Fatima tuz-Zahraa?' 'Yes, we do'. 'Do you not know it is Ja'far that flies in the heavens with wings, who is my uncle?' 'Yes, we do'. 'Then why do you attack me?' 'Because your father is Ali ibn abi Talib. We hate him, therefore we will hate you'.

Look at the constricted mind of these people. What was the response from Sayed ash-Shuhada? 'If you do not fear the afterlife and you do not have religion, at least be free people in yourselves. Do not allow Yazeed to constrict your mind and so be free human beings. Don't have that hatred for each other that blinds the way in which you think about me'. Here, this is the way in which Rasul Allah liberated the Madinan community to ensure that they had confidence in the Muslim government, that they wanted the best for them and in their lives, that they could practice freely and in turn be showed the goodness of the human faith of Islam.

In doing so, they would come towards Islam freely and not through oppression and not through the obligation of doing so. Again, the homework we leave is to think about pluralistic societies. And in the modern era, where do you find the example of Rasul Allah and how might Mahdi, salamullah alayh, implement this into the world in which he is going to come to?

InshaAllah tomorrow we will now begin to juxtapose: one, what is it that Mahdi, salamullah alayh, does in ghayba?

Two, where are the examples of him applying the Meccan example?

And three, where is it that we can see him applying the Madinan example into the world that we see today?

Wal hamdulillah Rabbal Aalameen, wasallahumma ‘ala Sayedina wa Nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alahi at-Tahireen [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]

Please raise your hands. Join me in dua – we ask Allah, Subhanahu 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 to be raised along side him, so that we can partake in the victory of Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.

Ya Allah! There are many people around the world going through such desperate times, Ya Allah, grant them all safety, security and victory for the sake of Muhammad and aali Muhammad. Wa salam 'alaikum jamee'un wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. May I ask you to conclude this discussion with one loud salawaat in honor of the Awaited Savior of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]