[The following is a transcript of a Friday Khutbah]
There are two types of people in this world. Both dream, but there are those who dream during the day and turn those dreams into a reality and then there are those who dream during the night and leave those dreams by their beds.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
Why is it that allows one group to dream during the day and the second group dream only during the night? There are two key differences:
- The first group this outside of the box because they are not afraid to think outside of the box whereas the second group is afraid of thinking outside of the box.
- The first group is bold and determination whereas the second group is neither bold nor fearless.
Today I want to speak about these two characteristics. Let me begin with the first characteristic, those “boxes” that we think through and inhibit us from dreaming during the day. One of those boxes is the “minority complex” – the idea that you are a minority.
The truth is brothers that being a minority is not a statistical reality, it is a mindset, and you have the choice to be a minority. As Muslims in the United States you can be chose be 1% of the population or you can choose to be part of a global community, an Ummah of 1.6 billion. You can choose to be a minority Arab Muslim, a Black Muslim, a Bengali Muslim or you can choose to be a Muslim whose community spans all continents, blacks, and white and so on.
This is what the Qur’an teaches us. You see, the Qur’an teaches us how to think, it teaches us to put things in perspective and most importantly it teaches us to see the bigger picture. Allah told the Muslims that “ummatakum ummatun wahida” – “wahida” it is one Ummah, not two, three or four; it is one Ummah.
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [Al-Hujjurat, 49:10]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم described the Ummah as one body; if one member becomes sick then the other members of this one body will take care of the sick one:
“The Believers, in their mutual love, mercy and compassion, are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
This hadith is critical. Let us reflect upon it. The Prophet is telling us that the Ummah cannot function properly unless it functions as one body. An arm cannot function without a brain, the left leg cannot walk without the right leg.
When the Prophet established the Islamic State in Medinah, the constitution started with the following words:
“In the name of Allah (The One True God) the Compassionate, the Merciful. This is a document from Muhammad, the Prophet, governing the relation between the Believers from among the Qurayshites (i.e., Emigrants from Mecca) and Yathribites (i.e., the residents of Medina) and those who followed them and joined them and strived with them. They form one and the same community as against the rest of men.
What is this Ummah that I speak of? First and foremost let us state a fact: a nation is only as strong as the idea that it carries. As Adam Smith said “ideas are the wealth of a nation”. Now I ask you brothers, what is the idea that we carry? It is La ilaha ila Allah and by Allah I ask you; is there any idea that is greater than this idea? This revolutionary statement which on one hand united the likes of Bilal ibn Rabah, Salman al-Farisi and Abu Bakr on one hand and shook the thrones of the world’s most powerful kings on another?
It is the ‘Aqeedah which allowed a former slave, a short man, from a poverty-stricken background to enter the lavish gold-filled tent of Rustum and tell him that “Allaah has sent us to liberate man from the worship of man to the worship of Allah?”
It is the ‘Aqeedah which transformed a minority, a group of Arabs, into leaders who reached all four corners of the world
It is an ‘Aqeedah through which an Ummah was able to conquer in 80 years what the Romans could not conquer in less than 800 years?
In concluding this point; it is clear, to think outside the box requires that we liberate our minds from the “minority” complex and identify with a global Ummah, new political horizons and a global vision. The second characteristic is: boldness and being fearless.
Let us return to the Qur’an. The Muslims in Mecca were indeed, numerically speaking, a minority. In fact, the Muslims were in the belly of the beast, the bastion and capital of Jahiliyyah. But Allaah revealed the Qur’an in Mecca despite that because Allah wanted us to pay heed to the fact that numbers mean nothing in the face of an idea. These men understand that; “even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth”
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
This first group recognizes that a dream comes to life only when those who possess it are willing to be ridiculed and oppressed because they recognize the importance of that dream.
“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
― Samuel Adams
Let us look at the boldness of the Prophet even while a “minority”. It was the year 627 AD, during a very harsh winter. The Arab and Jewish tribes had sieged Yathrib, which later became Mediah and they numbered approximately 10,000 whereas the Muslims were no more than 3,000. Salman al-Farisi advised the Prophet to build a trench around the city. Now, imagine this; the Muslims are about to be besieged, they are outnumbered, a minority so to speak and there stands the Prophet with his sleeves smashing the stones in order to dig into the ground and as he does so he exclaims “futihat ar-rum” (Rum has been conquered”). Imagine, at this time of weakness, an approaching army, a harsh winter, the Prophet is declaring “futihat ar-rum”!
Musa ‘alaayhee as-Salam carried the idea and followed the commands of Allah. But where did this lead him? They reached what many saw as a “dead-end” – a wide sea lay in front of them and the massive numbers of fir’awn’s army behind him. Some of Musa’s companions stated: inanana la muhlikoon (we are ruined) now look at the response of Musa, look at his conviction in the idea and the boldness it produced despite facing what seemed like an impossible situation; kala ina ma’ rabbi sayahideen (Nay, for Allah is with me and He will guide me” Allah Akbar!
Are you still a minority?