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Q) Can Wifaqul Ulama advise as to how the Jumu’ah congregation should be addressed on the issue of Syria and what should be some of the salient points of the Friday bayan?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
Checked and approved by (Maulana) Hashim Sacha and (Mufti) Amjad Mohammed
The circumstances of communities and their ability to respond is different therefore an Imam is better suited to respond to the needs of the community. Nevertheless, here are some pointers to those leading the Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers and how they address the current Syrian crisis. Please feel free to expand on these suggestions as you see fit.
This format can be adapted to address other crises pertaining to Muslims.
It is critical to recognise the unique and special circumstances of your congregation and the requirement to address the Syrian crisis can be fulfilled in multiple ways, e.g.:
- Put something on the Mosque noticeboard highlighting the crisis and ways to help
- Display messages on Mosque (electronic) displays to remind Muslims about Syria, something as simple as “Pray for Syria” is concise and effective
- Propose solutions as to how Muslims can help in the situation
The Syrian crisis can be addressed in multiple ways over several Fridays as follows:
Allah Ta’ala is in control:
You should begin by reiterating and emphasising our belief (Eemaan) that it is Allah Ta’ala who is in control of the affairs of this Earth, and not a leaf falls without the explicit will and permission of Allah Ta’ala.
‘And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darkness of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.’ (Surah Al-An’am, 6:59)
The sovereignty of Allah Ta’ala is supreme and undisputed.
‘And to Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and to Allah is the return (of all)’ (Surah An-Nur 24:42)
The Calamity of Sins:
Muslims should be reminded that it is our sins which (sometimes) cause calamities to befall us. The first solution to any calamity should be turn to Allah Ta’ala in sincere repentance and to seek forgiveness.
What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness. (Surah An-Nisa 4:79)
And whatever strikes you of disaster — it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much. (Surah Ash-Shura 42:30)
Justice and fairness:
Muslims should be reminded as Islam commands us to uphold justice and fairness in all conditions. We (as Muslims) are meant to be equally disturbed on all violations of human rights, take the side of (all) oppressed and stand up to (all) oppressors. We are not supposed to merely stand up for Muslims (only), although it is natural that it affects us more due to our relationship with Muslims on account of our faith.
We should continuously stand for and try to assist the oppressed regardless of their faith or ethnicity.
O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. Follow not your desires, lest you not be just. If you distort your testimony or refuse to give it, then Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat An-Nisa 4:135)
Verily, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and He forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (Surat An-Nahl 16:90)
Importance of making Dua
Our first recourse of action after seeking forgiveness from our sins and transgressions is to make Dua to Allah Ta’ala. It is a commandments of Allah Ta’ala and act of worship to make Dua.
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.(Surat Ghafir 40:60)
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me — indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. (Surat Al-Baqara 2:186)
Narrated An-Nu’man ibn Basheer (RA) that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: “Dua is worship.” (Tirmidhi)
Syria: The Blessed Land
Muslims need to be reminded that Syria is blessed land as articulated in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah thus more importance needs to be attached to crisis associated with Ash-Shaam.
The land of Ash-Shaam is included in the definition of “surroundings” of Masjid Al-Aqsa and this definition goes beyond the present political boundaries of the country (presently known as) Syria. In fact, Ash-Shaam refers to The Levant, which today consists of Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, (pre-1947) Palestine, Jordan, part of southern Turkey, and the Aleppo Vilayet.
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Surat Al-Isra 17:01)
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: “O Allah bless us in our Sham! O Allah bless us in our Yemen.” They said: “And in our Najd” He said: “O Allah bless us in our Sham! O Allah bless us in our Yemen.” They said: “And in our Najd” He said: “Earthquakes are there, and tribulations are there.” Or he said: “The horn of Shaitan comes from there.” (Tirmidhi)
Sahaabi Zayd ibn Thaabit (RA) narrated that we were with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him), collecting the Qur’aan from pieces of vellum, and the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: “Blessed is (Greater) Syria.” We said: Why is that, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “Because the angels of the Most Merciful spread their wings over it.” (Tirmidhi)
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (RA) that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: ” There shall be constant emigrations (in the near future). The best of the people will be those who hold fast to the place of emigration of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) (i.e. Shām). The worst of the earth’s people will remain, cast out by their lands, abhorred by Allāh and the fire will gather them with the apes and swines.” (Tirmidhi)
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (RA) that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: ” Such a fire will emerge from Hadhramaut (a place in Yemen) before Qiyāmah which will gather the people.’ The people asked, ‘O Allah‘s Messenger (peace and salutations be upon him), What do you advise us to do (if we are faced with it)?’ He replied, ‘Take refuge in Shām. ” (Tirmidhi)
Narrated Ibn Hawālah al-Azdī (RA) that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said, “The matter will run their course until you become three armies: an army in Sham, an army in Yemen, and an army in Iraq”. Ibn Hawālah al-Azdī (RA) said, “Choose for me, O Allah‘s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) , in case I live to see that “. He (Peace be upon Him) responded, “Go to Shām, for it is the best of lands of Allah, and the best of His slaves will be drawn there. And if you refuse, then go to Yemen and drink from its wells. For Allah has guaranteed me that He will look after Sham and its people.” (Ahmad)
Importance of Sadaqah (Charity)
You should encourage members of your community to give Sadaqah (charity) and to aid the Muslims of Syria to a Muslim charity of your choice. This should be done with sincerity and to please Allah Ta’ala. It is an act which brings the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala besides being materially beneficial and desperately needed by those in dire circumstances.
O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers — they are the wrongdoers. (Surat Al-Baqara 2:254)
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (Surat Al-Baqara 2:261)
Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Surat Al-Baqara 2:262)
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (RA) that that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said: ” Allaah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.. ” (Bukhari)
Wifaqul Ulama believes that it is critical for Muslims to engage with the politicians to put pressure on their Governments to ensure an immediate end to the hostilities in Syria. We have put together sample text and names of key politicians in Britain to engage on the subject. You should encourage your local community to engage with your local MP and ensure that the issue is raised in the parliament. Prominent members of the community should meet your local MP in person and then follow it up with emails etc.
To take action on a National and International level, see these two articles: