In a recent Khutbah, we explained that
asabiyyah with all its kinds and forms is one of the deadly diseases that
have weakened the Muslim Ummah in the past as well as today; the once
unified, merciful, and cohesive Muslim Ummah has transformed into
differing, conflicting, warring entities.
Asabiyyah (Fanatism – Partisanship –
Clanishness) is man's supporting the people to whom he belongs, whether
they are right or wrong, oppressing or oppressed.
The belonging to these people can be due to
family ties, friendship, ethnicity, color, birth place, citizenship,
school of thought, political party, or people with common interest.
The drive that causes asabiyyah is the
feeling of being better than others, and that others are at a lower class.
So, the person that has this feeling of
asabiyyah thinks so highly of himself and of those to whom he belongs, and
thinks that other people are NOT as good as his own people.
This kind of thinking is corrupted, and it is
in fact a kind of arrogance that comes from the mentality of Iblis, which
led him to disobey the command of Allah when He ordered him to prostrate
to Adam believing that he is better than Adam (A.S.)
The most common form of asabiyyah, we Muslims
suffer from is the regionalism and nationalism.
It is not much different from the tribalism
that existed in Jahiliya.
This kind of asabiyyah has grown in intensity
within the Muslim Ummah after the fall of the Islamic Ottoman Khilafa.
Regionalism is formed amongst a group of
people who live in one region or in one country.
They think that just because they are living
together in one region, that by itself will give them better
qualifications than others.
So they look down on others and think highly
of their own selves even if those other people have lived with them for
tens of years and even if they were born in their region but they are not
originally from them.
This regionalism was a goal that was sought
by the enemies of Islam, so they planted this deadly thought and nourished
it with all means, including dividing the Muslim land into smaller
countries, and established conflicts in these boundaries to maintain the
divisions and disputes.
Unfortunately, Muslims ended up victims of
this deadly asabiyyah that only benefited the opportunistic people by
keeping and strengthening their positions.
We need to ask ourselves, why Islam has
fought asabiyyah and warned us against it?
Simply because gathering and mutual support
on the basis of asabiyyah contradicts the fundamentals of Islam and its
The Muslim who believes in Allah (S.W.T.) has
his heart filled with love of Allah and love toward those who are loved by
Allah, and hatred toward those who are hated by Allah.
The relationship between the true Muslim and
other people is based on Islamic perspectives only.
The true Muslim supports and allies himself
with those who are loved by Allah and supports them when they are right
even if they are the farthest people from him (in blood, ethnic
background, race, birth place, or nationality....).
On the other hand, a true Muslim hates the
enemies of Allah and shows animosity towards them even if they are the
closest people to him (in blood, ethnic background, race, birth place, or
This is the true stance of a believer and he
adopts no other stance.
Allah (S.W.T.) gave us a good example of this
kind of believer in Ibraheem (S.A.W.). Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat AI-Mumtahinah,
which may be translated as,
"Indeed there has been an excellent example
for you in Abraham and those who believe with him, when they said to their
people: 'Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides
Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you,
hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah alone."
The society that Islam wants is the kind of
society where people gather on the basis of Islam and Islam alone.
So that the believers will have one united
Ummah despite their differing colors, languages, ethnic backgrounds,
tribes, so that this one Ummah becomes like one body.
We must keep in mind that Islam does not
cancel races, languages, and regions, but makes them members and parts
within this one body; they move when the body moves towards a common goal,
in a way that none of the roles of any parts of the body is canceled.
The scale of being better in this society is
not the race, language, national origin, etc...; it is righteousness and
good deeds, Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat AI-Hujurat, (verse 13),
which may be translated as,
'Verily, the most honorable of you in the
sight of Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa"
So how do we rid ourselves of Asabiyyah?
This is clarified in the Quran. Allah (S.W.T.)
commanded us in surat Al-Emran, (verse 103),
which may be translated as,
"And hold fast, all of you together, to the
Rope of Allah, (Islam) and do not be divided among yourselves."
Holding tight and assimilating on the deen of
Allah (S.W.T.) and no other deen, and assimilation on the basis of
anything else is an un-Islamic, ignorant, and a rejected assimilation.
This holding tight and assimilation on the
deen of Allah should be done by all Muslims with no exception. If some do
not do this, the cure will not be complete.
Also, it is a must that Muslims unite
regardless of the factors that suggest differences, like skin color,
languages, regions, national origins because unity is obligatory.
The cure is also with purifying the soul from
the traces of Jahiliya and purifying it from arrogance, and looking down
on people and planting the virtue of humility and respect of others.
The cure is also with the total awareness
that asabiyyah is from the works of Iblis and a means of destruction in
the hands of the enemies of the Muslim Ummah from within and from outside.
Asabiyyah is a sharp knife that has cut the veins of the Muslim Ummah and
is still bleeding and dying.
We ask Allah (S.W.T.) to protect us all from
all forms of Al-asabiyyah AI-Jahiliya and make us true believers.
One of the unique features of Islam is that
it is a religion of unity - even more, it is a uniting faith, with the
full meaning of this word.
It stands for the unity of gods into one real
God: Allah; for the unity of all messengers and Prophets in their message
into one basic message: LA ILAHA ILA ALLAH (There is no God but Allah);
for the unity of the spiritual and material sides of the individual into
an integrated whole - the human being, and for the unity of all believers
into one MUSLIM Ummah.
The Arabic word Ummah is sometimes translated
as nation, or community. It comprises those individuals who have something
basic common among them.
All the messengers and Prophets of Allah
belonged to one and the same Ummah because they had the same creed,
religion, and message.
Islam binds the hearts of all believers and
joins us in one Ummah. It protects us against weakness and disunity, and
against failure and loss.
The objectives of the united Ummah of the
believers is to worship Allah (in the broad sense of worship), to a deeper
form da'awa to Allah, and to work for the realization of the deen of
The bond that binds the members of this Ummah
is Iman (faith). It is, and should be, stronger than all other bonds such
as race, color, or national origin.
It is even stronger than blood relationships.
The stronger the Iman, the stronger is the bond between the members of the
Among the verses of the Qur'an which describe
the relations between the believers are the following:
The believers are but a single brother-hood/sisterhood
The believers, men and women, are protectors and
supporters one of another (Qur'an 9:71).
The nature of the bond of Iman (faith) which unites the
members of the Muslim Ummah and protects them against disunity is
described in many prophetic sayings.
An example of which the Prophet, pbuh, indicated that
the true and sincere believer shares the feelings of other believers:
their happiness and sorrow, as is described by the following prophetic
The similitude of the believers in their kindness,
love, and affection, in their mercifulness, and in their sympathy and
compassion towards one another, is like a body, when one organ ails, the
whole body suffers.
Islam requires that the bond of Iman (faith) be
translated into action. Every Muslim should work for forming one strong
and disciplined Jama'a (community), which is part of the ONE Muslim Ummah.
In our small community here in Blacksburg, we have the
same responsibility of forming and maintaining our Islamic community, our
Islamic Ummah, to be a healthy and integral part of the larger Islamic
The larger Islamic Ummah is noting but an integral of
the different Islamic communities that exist around the world, some are
small like ours and some are much larger.
If each individual community becomes healthy and
strong, the natural conclusion will be health and strength to the larger
So, we have the responsibility to strengthen our
Islamic Ummah in Blacksburg. And the least we can do in this regard is be
part of it to start with.
Participation in the activities and gatherings is step
Taking role, volunteering, initiating, helping, loving,
and caring, all are in order as well.
The Saturday gathering that used to bring us all
together, is now deserted and is threatened to die.
The Saturday gathering served as a social as well as a
religious activity for our community for many years.
It brought us closer to each other, gave us the
opportunity to know one another, know the new faces that come to our town,
check on those you have not seen for sometime and renew brotherhood and
Not ignoring its religious importance as the Hadeeth of
Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, indicates:
Any group of people that meet in one of the houses of
Allah to recite the book of Allah and study it, Allah will shower them
with tranquillity and mercy, the angels will surround them, and Allah will
mention them to His other creations.
The Jama'a in Islam is the power that works for the
deen of Allah. It guards and protects the lives and interests of Muslims.
The disunity destroys the work for Allah and the
interests of Muslims. It results in humiliation and failure.
Let us remember that forming one strong Muslim Ummah is
a Fard (obligatory duty).
We should start by having one strong Jama'a in our
Needless to say, having one Jama'a, united under the
banner of La Ilaha ila Allah will qualify us to receive the guidance and
support of Allah.
This Jama'a can facilitate the application of Islamic
principles in every aspect of the life of individual Muslims.
To establish a true Muslim Jama'a, we need to address
the two major problems:
1. The first problem is :
Divisions along cultural, ethnic, and racial lines,
which persist in many Muslim communities.
We need to assert our brotherhood / sisterhood in
Islam, and remember that the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) included Abu
Bakr the Qurashite; Salman the Persian; Suhaib the Roman; and Bilal the
Out of the highly race- and tribe- conscious city of
Mecca came a unique example of Islamic brotherhood.
We need to make a conscious effort to bridge the ethnic
and race barriers, and integrate all Muslims in our cultural, social, and
recreational activities, as we are all integrated in Jama’a prayers.
2. The second problem is :
Individualistic, self-centered, and selfish attitudes,
which are prevalent in Muslim communities.
We need to appreciate the fact that our interests, our
well-being, and even our identity will be threatened by maintaining these
Many of our goals (such as preserving our Islamic
identity, providing vigorous Islamic education to the children and adults,
and establishing a strong financial base) can only be accomplished through
concerted effort of the members of the Jama'a.
One last word at the end of this Khutbah is I can not
emphasize enough the importance of donating to keep this Masjid open.
Without your participation in a regular donation
program, the finances of this Masjid is very unpredictable and we may not
have the funds to pay our rent and other needs.
Everyone needs to participate at his or her own level
and ability, But do participate, because Allah will reward those who spend
for His Cause.
We pray to Almighty Allah to give us the guidance and
support in forming a strong Muslim Jama'a; to make us realize the
importance of this goal; and to protect us against disputes and disunity.
And help us keep this Masjid open for His cause and for Muslims to
sincerely worship him. Amen.