Balancing Spirituality And Activism
Channel: Abdul Nasir Jangda
File Size: 13.30MB
Jumuah Khutbah on April 21, 2017
Assalamualaikum I hope you've been enjoying the column podcast and issue that's been the topic of a lot of discussion and debate within our community is balancing between spirituality and activism. I recently gave a lecture at the Ignite convention, where I address this topic. So I thought I'd share the recording of the lecture with y'all. Take a listen. Hopefully it's a source of benefit to you and share it with others,
allowing him to lower salatu salam ala rasulillah
salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
Allah azza wa jal Gita
shaytani r rajim. Aloma elementary lacantina, come to alleghany amati, where I lead to lakmal Islam Medina.
I wanted to start off the discussion today, the presentation that I have for some thoughts I wanted to share on this issue, that has become quite a bit of a topic of conversation.
Some folks might be familiar with it, as my colleague was referencing, a lot of folks that are online that probably peruse a lot of the Muslim conversations, Muslim social media, the hashtags and whatnot, they probably are familiar, but otherwise more so kind of within the circles of the Muslim community, where people have some investment and are active and involved. This has become a bigger and a bigger and a bigger conversation of topic. And one that if I'm speaking very, very honestly, in a very candidly, it started it has started to become a bit of a negative conversation, the tone has become very, very negative. And it's taken on the form of activists versus in opposition to as
opposed to ideologically
I don't know what the term exactly would be, but maybe spiritually inclined folks, folks that identify as being more religious, and particularly, there's quite a bit of also conversation between scholars and activists. And this is starting to become quite a bit of an issue. So that's the topic I have. Now before I delve into that and I have some thoughts I wanted to just share here today. But I wanted to share a moment from the life of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam as the basis of the conversation, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam
are the entirety of our Deen the entirety of our Deen is based upon the Quran everything that we've talked about what chef Jamal shared with us when he mom Khalid shared with us What sister Linda will talk to us about everything that is from our Deen the source and the basis and the foundation of all of it is the Quran is the book of Allah, and that entire journey, because even the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is told in Soto to nahal in Surah number 16. What and Jana alayka vichara lead to by iannelli nasima lucilla, Elijah, when Quran that this reminder the Quran has been revealed to you, or Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, so you may demonstrate it clarified and
realize it for the people so that they understand what was revealed for them what was revealed to them, and then they start to ponder and reflect and think about it. So everything the basis of everything is the Quran. And the story of the Quran goes all the way back to that one blessing nights in the cave of Hadith, where the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam first received divine revelation. So any conversations that we're going to be having, pertaining to our Deen, pertaining to Islam are going to go back to that particular moment. When the prophets a lot of them received that revelation ikara. This Mirabella de Halak delivered to him by algebric gibreel I mean, the
trustworthy jabril Gabriel alayhi salam,
the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam. Now this is something very interesting, he's been given the message. Now somebody in a vacuum, I'm kind of borrowing some of the constructs, and I don't agree with these constructs, but I'm going to present them to you some of the constructs that do exist out there in the community, in society, some would say that that is the basis of spirituality. That's the basis of the religion, aside from activism, okay, and all the other social political concerns that we have right now. So the entirety of spirituality goes back to that that was that message that was the fountain the spring of all that spirituality, the Quran. Now when the Prophet sallallahu
alayhi wa sallam comes home, this isn't the hadith of Bahati, the very first chapter of mumble Hadees authentic collection Bible but it was the the chapter about the initiation of revelation in its eyeshadow, the Allahu taala, an area that says that when the prophets Allah decem came home to his beloved wife, Khadija, the mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with her when he came home to her
And he shared some how he was feeling very distressed and overwhelmed at this experience and at this responsibility that had been placed on his shoulders. These are the Allahu taala. And he spoke some words that have become preserved and become a firm part of our tradition. And people learn them and read them and memorize them till today, Khadija, the Allahu taala on how to quote verbatim she said Canada were lucky, My yoke Zika la vida, she says, absolutely not. God will shall never forsake you. Now, what is her basis for saying this vouching for the spiritual credibility of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. She says in Nikola Tesla Russian, you take care of your family? What's
that mean? Can you lift up the downfall in the downtrodden in society, those who society has neglected, Let's fall through the cracks and even push down, you reach down and pick them back up. What's actually been my Doom you give to those you take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. You feed the ones who can't feed themselves. What's up great beef. You are extremely hospitable to your guests. You honor your guests. Once you are in Orlando, why even Huck anywhere where there is a word of the cause you are to be found. You are to be found. You're the first one in line.
From this, the primary point that I wanted to share here is that from the Islamic paradigm,
from the philosophy of our Deen and religion,
Islam does not make a distinction between spirituality and activism.
These are not two different arenas, these are not two different things.
And this is not a claim that this is not something I say just flippantly without some substance without substantiating that point. But the very first point the thesis that I'd like to share here is Islam does not make a distinction between spirituality and activism. That is a modern construct. That is a construct that has been borrowed from others.
And our Deen does not have this construct.
And I'll present to you a Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam where the prophets a lot of the some demonstrators, the prophets a lot he said him says that a young Shia,
he feed Baba he Hajin what a sharabi is bury he have been men and Yaki. fafi must God
the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Let me let me explain a few basic things before I get started. First of all, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam tells us that the three most sacred places on Earth. The three most sacred places on earth, are the Kaaba, the house of God in Makkah. In our debate, you will see Linda db bacchetta Mubarak and secondly, is the masjid of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam the harem, the city of Medina. The Prophet sallallahu Sallam said that I requested God to sanctify the city of Medina, as he has sanctified the city of Mecca. That is the second amongst the three most sacred places on earth. And some philosophers some, some philosophers
are of the opinion the only three sacred places on earth. And the third is Michigan archosaur
Savannah levy sohrabi avec de la laminal machine Hiromi lead machine aka sa la de Baraka, hola who
that God said we sanctified that entire area, we blessed it. These are the three most sacred places on earth and as I said, and according to some, the three only places that can be truly called sacred.
Now the that's the first thing I want you to take a note of. So the mustard of the prophets a lot ism is at the core of that sacred place in Medina, I wanted to establish that. Now let me explain to you let me translate and share with you what the prophets allottee some says in this beautiful Hadith the Prophet sallallahu Sallam says that someone walking, someone moving, another nation says Mensa is
somebody who's striving, struggling working to help someone else to relieve somebody else's need.
is better is more virtuous than someone observing fit golf. Golf means you seclude you restrict yourself to the machine. You are going to do nothing for the next 24 hours except worship God.
You will even restrict how frequently you go to the restroom. You will try to manage that so that you leave the masjid for as little time as possible. That's called erotica. It's a very sacred practice the prophets a lobby some
Did this the entirety of the 10 years every Ramadan in the city of Medina, he did this for 10 for 10 days for all 10 years in Medina,
the prophets Allah, some saying, going out, working, walking, striving, struggling to relieve the need of another human being is better, more virtuous, have been better and more virtuous than observing anti golf, in my Masjid, for two whole months. Imagine never coming up from the mercy of the promises and for too much, doing nothing but praying and worshiping and remembering a love and helping somebody is a more virtuous deed. You see there with the prophets, a lot of them did, he is challenging this, these notions, these preconceived notions that we have about a differentiation, a delineation, between spirituality and activism, by by comparing and contrasting to do that he took
something that is a solely purely religious ritual, where it's just you and alone, and no one or nothing else. And the Prophet sallallahu Sallam is comparing that even though we don't compare and contrast, good deeds, but he's the prophets a lot. He's someone who is teaching us a lesson. He's the teacher, teaching us a lesson. And he says that even such a remarkable act of worship, that requires such consistency and diligence and sacrifice, helping somebody in need is greater than that.
And right there, the profits of lobbyism completely shatters his notion about a difference between spirituality and activism. So for that reason, for that reason, if I may, very humbly,
I'd like to actually talk about something else. Instead of talking about balancing between spirituality and activism. And I what I'd like to talk about is the real delineation that the profits a lot of them has given us, and that is the difference between learning and working.
He never told us there was a difference. There were two arenas, spirituality and activism. He said, there are two arenas and that is learning and working. That's what he taught us. And within this is the solution, and I'll talk towards the end, because somebody might say, but at the same time, there does exist this, this this difference, this this conundrum, this dilemma between spirituality and activism, so how do we go about solving that so I will address that towards the end inshallah. So, I wanted to talk about this difference between learning and working, learning and practicing learning and doing good learning and implementing what you learned. And this is very, very important and
cannot be stressed enough. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam says in an authentic narration very famous Hadith of the Prophet Allah ism narrated by Earth Madame la fan, where he says, Hey, welcome, Manta, Allah May Allah Allah who the best amongst you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it and allow me to show you some of the
misunderstanding that exists today. The misunderstanding is he saying that the best amongst you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it. And there is this zeal that takes over someone once they kind of get involved and they start, you know, introducing and orienting themselves to their Deen and their religion that they want to teach. But the prophets a lot he says he does not say anything accidentally. He speaks with eloquence.
And tell him he was gifted eloquence by God. He said, learns the Quran and teaches it. You have to learn before you can teach. You have to crawl before you can walk.
And that's where the real gap exists right now. We do not take learning seriously. Nor learning our Deen nor learning our history. They're learning what's going on in the world. They're sitting with people who have been doing work and asking them none of that we don't take any of that. But we jumped straight into just trying to expend as much energy as we can. We're just standing in one place spinning our wheels until we burned those rubbers right off the wheels. Those tires right off the wheels.
And that's where that's where the problem exists. Imam ghazali Rahim Allah to Allah. He wrote a letter of advice to one of his students. And then he said something really, really profound. He said, He will be now in June
and then move on and then June will be later on.
He says knowledge and obsession with knowledge, without any concern for implementation, practice and work, doing work, doing good. He says it's insanity. It's an obsession. It's a disorder. You have become obsessed with something. You are obsessed with something it is compulsive behavior.
And he says On the flip side, trying to do some good in the world without learning how to do good without learning the difference between right and wrong and good and bad.
Nothing will materialize you will make zero difference. You will do no good. You will sink yourself and the dangerous thing is you might sink others along with you. The hadith of Amanda blue Bashir radi Allahu Allah Allahu Allahu taala angama him and his father were both Muslims. And no matter what overshadow the Allahu Allahu Allah, the Hadees that he narrates from the prophet SAW some is beautiful in the sense, where he talks about two bars, two parties boarding a ship, one on the lower deck in the upper deck.
And every time people on the lower deck, they need water, and they go up to the people on the upper deck to throw over the bucket and pull over some water from from the side of the ship. One day, they say why should we bother the people of the upper ship? Why don't we just drill a hole right here in the lower deck, and we'll get all the water that we need.
Now, he says that if the people of the upper deck don't go and stop them, everyone will perish and die. That Hadith is primarily hasn't been stopped. It has a benefit, where it talks about the significance and the importance of making sure that you don't live in a bubble and isolate yourself. But the other thing I want to talk about is the people of the lower deck, they in and of themselves are a powerful example, a real a real lesson that that's what ignorance does. You think you're solving a problem, but you're creating a bigger problem.
You're creating a bigger problem learning and doing these are the two arenas we have to operate in we have to learn and we have to do. Now spirituality. So the next thing that I wanted to share here
is the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam when he sent more, and I wanted to talk a little bit about this, you know what to learn and how to go about learning.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he sent it more either blue Jabba la de Allahu taala annual, a great a very brilliant, young, Sahabi Companion of the prophets, a lot of them and he sent him to Yemen to go there. And to help, you know, organize their community, help fix up their society, help them organize their affairs, is very much public work, serving the people there. Before he sent him it's a very touching narration where morale was extremely attached to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. So the prophets of the salon he said to me, he told me my board your ride, and then the process and held the rope of the Campbell and walked him out of Medina. And when
I felt embarrassed, he tried to get down to the system says Stay, stay seated, I need to talk to you need to pay attention to what I'm saying. And they're walking along. And as they're walking along the profits of lobbyists, I'm talking to him
and narrates his hobbies himself. And he says that the profits of lobbyists Emerson gave us now in another lecture
what shall you do? What will you do? If you face any problems, any challenges? any issue that you don't have the answer for? He said, after the the MFI kita Villa I will decide based off of what I find in the Quran.
The Prophet sallallahu Sallam said for illumio configure Tabitha, what if you don't find the answer for their question or their problem in the Quran directly? explicitly, you don't find it explicitly mentioned in Accra, what are you going to do? He said for the student at the Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, I will I will look and research within the tradition and the precedent of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. He said Valium your confession at the rasulillah is an audition. What if you don't find it in my precedence? explicitly? He said he do right. He knew. He said I will. I will extract the principles from the Quran and the Sunnah, and then investigate and
research and think and try to extract a good solution. But I will not quit I will not rest until I find the answer for their question. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he patted while I've been jumpin patted him, like, you know, like saying good job. And then he said, and hamdu lillahi wa *a Rasulullah rasa Lila De Lima de rasulillah. He says, I thank and praise God, for giving my representative
the ability to know and to understand that which brings me comfort and peace, that I know I can put my faith and trust in this young man and I can send them out there. That's knowing the deen finding the solutions to people's problems will be found in the dean in what a line is messengers a lot of them have given us.
And so the two questions I'd like to pose here, as I wrap this up and conclude this,
the two questions that still are on the table, and that is okay, it's easy for me to stand here and say, and I have full confidence in what I'm saying. And that's why I tried to substantiate it. That Islam doesn't create this distinction between spirituality and activism.
However, what that does not change that does not change the fact that there still exists this dichotomy, even within our community.
So why is it
that some practicing or religious or knowledge oriented folks in the Muslim community neglects and even go as far as tragically go as far as dismissing activism? Why do they do that? And on the flip side, why do some, some activists feel like they don't need spirituality? So this, why did the sentiment still exist? And the answer is very simple.
This is exactly what happens when you don't know your history.
And for us, that has a very simple answer.
That means they don't know the Sierra the life of the Prophet Samadhi. So it is impossible for someone to have read, studied, pondered, reflected spend time with the Sierra the life, the biography of the Prophet sallallahu sallam, and still arrive at this particular type of conclusion, to still behave this way. Like there's a dichotomy. When you see the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
where he wakes up during the night the night before at the Battle of buzzer where the entire oma might just be obliterated.
And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam spends the entire night before the Battle of Baba.
praying and worshipping, making crying in front of Allah saying please save us please save us mix throughout the entire night.
And on the flip side, when you see that when the Prophet somebody some leaves his home, goes up for a mission. He goes out into battle, he goes out to to face off against the oppressors that they shorten the prayer. They combine the prayer and during the Battle of the trench when they were trying to save the lives of everyone in Medina, they missed three consecutive prayers for us or Muslim because he said we cannot leave the trench if we walk away from the trench to go pray right now though overrun gear and massacre everyone. So we will stay here and we'll do what needs to be done right now. And the prophets Allah He said and finally enter his shot when when they when the
enemy went back when they receive it from the onslaught, the attack the assault.
The prophets, a lot of them then gathered the Muslims and said, Now we have to pray. And he felt bad. And he said, may Allah subhanaw taala deal with these people Shaka Luna. And he saw what they did not let us pray. But notice, he did set the precedents. We understood the urgency of the situation. Now again, how would that get out of hand? Somebody's taking it upon themselves to decide when they can pray and they don't pray? No, no, that goes back to learning. You have to learn what those situations are.
This is the age of information, not the age of knowledge. And this is part of the problem. We're information junkies.
A knowledge is depth. It's not with breath, it's depth.
I don't want to get off topic off topic too much. I need to wrap up. I want to hear from sister Linda. I know everyone else does as well.
But I'll tell you something, just that. It really
it's hard to kind of figure out exactly what happened and where went wrong.
I have teachers that I've sat with and benefited from who would teach they of course they were very knowledgeable in the deen in the religion.
But they would teach not only just one subject of the deen like Hadith.
They would teach one book of the science of Hadith from the knowledge of Islam for 50 years of their lives. I had a teacher who taught Sahih Muslim for 50 years. One time I was walking with him I was helping him carry some books and we walked out of the class and somebody another one of the more junior teachers at the Jamia, I came to him and said I had a question about a hadith from Timothy. It's another book of Hadith. He said, Oh, you should go I should as he sort of man because he's a specialist and Timothy. I was like what? And I was very like I had a good relationship with them. So when we went and sat down, I just said you knew the answer to his question, right? And he said,
Yeah, she said, Why didn't you answer because that's not what I'm a specialist of the sauce.
sauce learn to specialize have depth
right to superficial today. And so I wanted to conclude by sharing a poem of umami chef Avraham Allahu taala which talks about something very beautiful. He says that will be do it what is that he won't be Masato see hammer lady la talk to rockin and rollin Emma D.
says that you underestimate and mock and ridicule praying at nights.
But in reality, you don't understand the power of dua to Allah.
And he goes on to say that the arrows that are launched at night they do not miss their target.
Meaning the things that are learned and figured out when you spend time one on one with a law, those things will lead you to the the the goal and the destination where you want to get to, he says because they are guaranteed by a lot to reach their destination and that guarantee Allah fulfills. That's one side of it. Invest in your relationship with Allah and on the other side of it. Never, ever forget that we're accountable to Allah subhanaw taala for the right for what's right and what's wrong. And what we neglect and what we taught what we what we dismiss, and what we ignore. Allah subhanho wa Taala and pseudotumor EDA sutra number five I in number eight, Allah subhanho wa Taala
says yeah, you Valentina Amano. Oh you who believe if you profess if you claim to be a believer
kulu Cobra, Amina Bucharest kuno Amina Bucharest, stand for what's right.
Shahada shuhada Allah Allah
as witnesses before God kunafa wamena lillahi Shahada standards witnesses before God and stand for what's right
in another place in the Quran Allah says even if it be against yourself against your family and even against your parents, but you stand for what's right you stand for what's just when I get you the Magna kushina Anupama Allah, Allah do just because somebody else is doing things the wrong way that should never allow you to do things the wrong way. You always have to do things the right way. Yeah, the loo be just be fair, who are accountable, etc. That is what will bring you closer to Allah see against that, again, that merger between that activism and spirituality.
What's up along, always be conscious of God in the law be Don't be my time alone. God is always informed of everything that you do. And so that's why a little humble recommendation that I make to folks in my community that I was given that I have taken to heart.
If we are working,
if we're out there doing work, it's very important that we make time to sit down and learn.
And organizations, it's a bigger responsibility that goes to organizations, organizations that have people working within them need to ensure the opportunity to their workers, that they will get a chance to learn.
Because again, I'm not talking about spirituality activism, I told you, I'm talking about learning and working.
But we have to stop expanding we have to stop sacrificing learning for the sake of working, make time to learn. organizations should take it upon themselves to facilitate learning for their workers. Otherwise, the future that otherwise we will lose our orientation. That is our guiding like the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala and the Sunnah of the Prophet tolani. So May Allah subhanaw taala give us all the ability to know our Deen May Allah Spano until they give us all the ability to be able to live our need and to represent our Deen through the work that we do. I mean, ninjas unblocking