2. Freedom

This is one of a series of articles which were either written in collaboration with Uthman Ibrahim-Morrison or were carefully edited by him, in which it is no longer possible to see who wrote what

Free men and women are the basis of any sane civil order. They are distinguished from slaves. Classically, there were two routes into slavery: warfare and debt, for if a person became insolvent in the ancient world he became the slave of his creditors. This latter has a particular resonance for us today in what is fast becoming THE age of debt. Slaves were of different sorts. There were domestic and farm slaves and some slaves could go out and work in the world with a craft or skill which they had acquired and negotiated to pay their owner a dareebah in order to be permitted to do this. Now dareebah is known to every modern Arab as ‘income tax’. Thus, the hidden nature of our condition is made clear: we are slaves who are allowed to work and earn money in the world on condition that we pay our owners, in this case the state, an income tax on our earnings.

The only such tax that a Muslim pays is the zakah which is taken by the leader’s collectors and given by them to the eight categories who are allowed to receive it.

Thus, while we debate freedom of speech and electoral freedom, etc., we have lost sight of the fact that we have long since surrendered the vital freedom to refuse to have our wealth confiscated from us in taxation, accepting in exchange the democratic privilege of electing the people who will take it and manage it ‘on our behalf’, as if we were mentally or legally incompetent; or indeed, like the dependent slaves that we have clearly become. However, there is still worse to come.

As it turns out, the elected governments who behave as our masters, are themselves no more than indentured servants whose task is to organise the collection and payment of the dareebah that is ultimately due to the banks, who until recently have managed to remain hidden as the true slavemasters. Therefore, worse even than that of slaves, our situation bears closer comparison with that of the livestock which the slaves are made to herd and harness.

The full extent of the dareebah demanded by the banks, which makes it even more devastating to our wealth and freedom, arises from the various accounting devices that allow them to invent money from nothing, and then to levy compound interest on governments, corporations and individuals alike, who have little alternative other than to borrow from this endlessly conjured up money supply. This results in not only the various extra charges and taxes that are levied on almost every process of our lives but a general inflation that drains away our already dwindling wealth.

The civil disorder in the Middle East has raised the banner of freedom, but is pursuing the line of servility and servitude. They want to elect ‘freely and fairly’ the slaves who will milk them like goats, while they will certainly have no choice about the banks that issue the false money and command tribute from every government in ways that, sooner or later, result in the devastation of whole economies and entire societies.

Our warning here in the West to our young brothers in the Middle East, is that the absence of slavery does not signify freedom. Without men and women whose spiritual and intellectual integrity demand autonomy from the instinctive core of their individual beings, not only is there no escape from open tyranny, but there is no protection from the illusion of freedom.  Where are the genuinely free ones? They are within you (if you are not too wasted), they are amongst you (if conditions favour them) or they are yet to be born; whatever the case they must be empowered. The neglected sciences of your noble Deen hold the key to their recovery, and without unlocking the combinations of its inner and outer dynamics you will not create the conditions for their emergence, and you will not know how to recognise them or how to nurture them – but know that without them, you will remain imprisoned in a maze of smoke and mirrors the like of which has never existed before in the history of mankind. La hawla wa la quwwata ila billahi ‘alliyil ‘adheem.

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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