Gazan Reflections

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful, and may Allah bless and grant peace to our Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions.

In trying to make sense of the appalling and utterly unacceptable Israeli slaughter of the defenceless Palestinians of Gaza, we must nevertheless look for causes and not surrender our intellects entirely to the emotions aroused. We do so, not in order to intellectualise that to which we should respond with action but, to discover solutions to their dilemma and ours and in order to be able to act effectively.

If you start with Sykes-Picot you cannot understand what happened and you cannot do anything.

The nation-state emerged out of the violent crucible of the French Revolution. It defined ‘the people’ as belonging to a nation, in this case the French. Other people, such as the Basques and Bretons, were simply coerced into being French, expelled or liquidated. There were a great many people in ‘France’ who were not ‘French’.

Soon everyone needed a nation state. Soon everyone was assimilating into the nation state those who were not of the nation; or else liquidating them or expelling them.

The Arabs wanted a nation state. So, they reneged on their allegiance to the Ottomans. Having betrayed, they in turn were betrayed: Sykes-Picot.

The Zionists wanted a nation state, and they got it. This desire was nothing to do with the Holocaust, which it long predates. But it was the Holocaust that put the defining seal on their nation-state. They set about assimilating, expelling and liquidating their inconvenient non-peoples.

One by one, Syrians, Iraqis, Saudis and Libyans got their states, for which they are paying the price. Of the Arabs, the Palestinians are left and Hamas want a nation-state. Who knows what they would do if they got it?

The asymmetry of the Zionist-Hamas struggle is clear to all.

But the root of the issue, the desire for the genocidal racial nation state remains unaddressed, except, that is, by various supranational bodies such as the ‘United States’, the EU and the UN.

Nevertheless, their supranationalism is predicated upon the functioning actuality of the established nation-states across the world that have given rise to the problem in the first place.

The supranational bodies are themselves identical in process to the nation: assimilating, expelling or liquidating those inconvenient individuals and entire peoples who do not fit the profile, in the case of the US, those very native peoples who have a genuine claim to being the original inhabitants of the land.

Thus the problem of the genocidal nation state is not solved by supranationalism or internationalism and certainly not ‘Islamic’ statism.

The state is the problem. It is a problem that is not solved by revolution or insurgency, which serve only to reinforce its political modalities.

The key to it is that in every case the state and the superstates are subject to the transcendent power of fiat money amplified by the exponential mathematics of usury.

For the Arabs, for us all, the way forward is to understand what happened in that initial act of betrayal. Yet, there is no way ‘back’, no way to suddenly erect a Caliphate. That has simply become a code word for an ‘Islamic state’.

But khil?fah means ‘succession’, the succession by a man to the men who succeeded the Prophet, peace be upon him, in his leadership of the community. We need to rediscover the skill of choosing the right man: someone who is knowledgeable, capable and good. We have become more or less accustomed to picking knowledgeable men for our imams and ‘ulam?’ and we have become more or less accustomed to picking good men for our shaykhs. Now we must learn to pick capable men; being always aware that their good character, knowledge and timely availability are intrinsic to their capacity and a proof, rather than being taken merely as fortuitous adjuncts.

This essential summary is abstracted in part from MFAS module, The Politics of Power

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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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