Withhold your hands and establish prayer.

There came a time for a people of the former times, when Allaah, the wise, asked them to withhold their hands, and establish swalaah and pay zakaah :

"Have you not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands (from fight), and establish swalaah and pay zakaah ; but when fighting was prescribed for them, a section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared Allaah; and they said: 'Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us ? Why wouldn't You give us respite yet a while!' Say : 'The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who fears; and you will not be wronged in the very least.' " (4:77)

Today, the Muslim ummah is in a similar situation, because

1. we need to hold back our hands, in the manner described below and for the reasons enumerated ; and

2. we need to establish swalaah prayers, real swalaah in the manner required by Allaah.

Withhold your hands.

Today, we are waging many struggles against our enemies and we have been through many struggles in the recent past. If we recount their nature, we can find that all of them are reactions to what our enemies do to us and not one of them is as a result of any proactive or positive steps taken by us. Ideally, our fights should be retaliatory fights, i.e., when the non-believers initiate fights against us as a reaction to our da'wah (call) to them towards Islaam. On the contrary, these fights have been as a reaction to:

1. Their occupation of our lands ;

2. Their suppression of our rights ;

3. Their desecration of our religious symbols ;

4. Their dramas to blame, defame and frame us ;

and, the worst

5. Succumbing to their designs to engineer fights within us.

But in all the fights against them, we do not have a central leadership for the ummah, who could direct us, both religiously and militarily, so that we could have a decisive victory in this world and in the hereafter.

Where is our leader ?

Allaah, our Lord, has said:

" O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive in His way, so that you may succeed." (5:35)

In the above verse, Allaah has asked us to :

1. fear Him and seek waseelah (means of approach) unto Him ; and

2. strive in His cause, so that we may succeed.

The order is not to just go and strive in Allaah's way, but before that to seek waseelah, a means to approach Him, and then to strive in His way. This is prescribed as a precondition for our success, before initiating a struggle - a jihaad in His cause - and, foremost, to fear Allaah in the matter (and not neglect what has been prescribed.)

In the case of the children of Israel, after the times of Moses (peace upon him), their chiefs are asking a prophet unto them to appoint for them a king, so that they may fight in the cause of Allaah.

" Have you not turned your vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel, after Moses? They said to a Prophet unto them: "Appoint for us a king, that we may fight in the cause of Allaah ; " (2:246 part)

" Their Prophet said to them: 'Allaah has appointed Talut as king over you.'

They said: 'How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, and he is not gifted with wealth in abundance?'

He said: 'Allaah has chosen him above you, and has gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: Allaah bestows His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allaah is Extensive, Knowing.' " (2:247)

From the above verse, we come to know that Allaah bestows His Sovereignty on whom He will. The prerequisite is not gift of wealth in abundance, but the one on whom He has bestowed abundance of knowledge and superior bodily ability.

We have neither sought nor found a leader for the Ummah, who fulfils the standards set by Allaah, to be chosen for its leadership. In fact, I am not sure whom am I referring to when saying "We" and "Ummah" in the foregoing sentence. Sadly, there is no single entity that could be called Muslim Ummah. It is a mess, a jumbled mixture of umpteen number of groups, inimical to each other. Unless we cast aside the distinctive beliefs and practices that convert us into a Shaafa'i or a Maliki or a Salafi or a 12-Imaam or a Hanafi from the original "Muslim", nothing can move forward.

In the circumstances, we do not now have the necessary qualification to take up arms. In fact, the arms which our enemies are clandestinely providing to us with a plan in mind, are being used by our differing groups, the sunnis and shias, to kill each other, in Iraq and Pakistan.

Because of the collaboration of the top echelons of hypocritical Muslim governments and clergy with our enemies, innocent muslim individuals are being instigated to commit acts that harm the innocents among non-muslims. This is a creating a situation where, very soon, very few sympathizers for Islaam or Muslims would be left among non-Muslims. We have no choice but to urgently identify and cast away these hypocritical elements and move forward with the learning and following of the directions in Allaah's words - The Qur-aan.

Allaah has clearly told us :

" You shall certainly be tried and tested in your property and in your persons ; and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who were given the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently, and adopt fear (of Allaah), then that is of the steadfast heart of things." (3:186)

Establish Swalaah.

From our study of the previous chapters on prayers, we became aware of what acts are to be avoided in our prayers and how to conduct the same. We would do well to move forward in the right direction without any delay. It is essential that we understand what is being recited in swalaah by the imaam leading the prayer. Muslims in the non-arab world, young and old, men and women alike, need to be taught the meaning of the Qur-aanic verses. This will immensely benefit us, beyond our imagination, combined with the benefit arising from paying zakaah. Possibly Allaah will bring in the circumstances for us to fight in His cause, in the manner acceptable to Him. Until then, we have to withhold our hands and establish swalaah - as specified in Qur-aan - and pay zakaah.


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