Sunday, 14 December 2014

Translation of Ḥawqalah

13 December 2014 at 02:19
Kontactr: Translation please

Brother in islam-there is no power to avoid evil and no ability to do good
except through allah most high, most mighty-from imam al-waqidi conquest of
sahabas book.nnwould it be possible to translate into Arabic and Latin words
please nnselam

The phrase is called awqalah, just as “Allāhu Akbar” is called Takbīr.

لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله
Lā ḥāwla wa lā quwwata illā billāh
There is no power to avoid evil and no ability to do good
except through Allah [Most High, Most Mighty]

Although commonly translated as, “There is no strength and no might” I find that translation rather simplistic and lacking in sense. What exactly is the wide distinction between might, strength and power or any other synonym in English? Unfortunately this is but an example of the mental laziness of the Muslims. Some well-meaning person might have suggested this incomplete translation decades ago, our mentality is to continue customs of previous generations even in such matters which can be rectified. I had previously written on incorrectly translated common narrations and supplications.
awl means a power of negation and Quwwah means a power of positive implementation. This distinction is not apparent with, “There is no power/might/strength…” etc

The following extract from Fatul Bārī, Commentary on aḥīḥul Bukhārī, by Ibn ajar al-ʿAsqalānī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him), should explain the above and clarify the reasons for my translation:

معنى لا حول لا تحويل للعبد عن معصية الله إلا بعصمة الله ولا قوة له على طاعة الله إلا بتوفيق الله وقيل معنى لا حول لا حيلة وقال النووي : هي كلمة استسلام وتفويض وأن العبد لا يملك من أمره شيئا وليس له حيلة في دفع شر ولا قوة في جلب خير إلا بإرادة الله - تعالى -
The meaning of lā awla is that the slave cannot turn away from the disobedience of Allāh, except through the protection of Allāh. And he has no quwwah  to obey Allāh, except with Allāh granting him the ability. It is also said that lā ḥāwla is lā hīlah (no strategy). An-Nawawi said, “It is a word of surrender and handing over one’s affairs. The slave owns absolutely nothing of his own affair. He has no strategy which can repel evil, and no power in acquiring good except through what Allāh Most High intends.”

 سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Who is the Bravest of People?

عن علي أنه قال: أخبروني من أشجع الناس؟ فقالوا أنت قال: أما إني ما بارزت أحدا إلا انتصفت منه ولكن أخبروني بأشجع الناس قالوا لا نعلم فمن قال أبو بكر إنه لما كان يوم بدر فجعلتم لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عريشا فقلنا من يكون مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لئلا يهوي إليه أحد من المشركين فوالله ما دنا منا أحد إلا أبو بكر شاهرا بالسيف على رأس رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يهوي إليه أحد إلا هوى إليه فهو أشجع الناس قال علي رضي الله عنه ولقد رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأخذته قريش فهذا يجبأه وهذا يتلتله وهم يقولون: أنت الذي جعلت الآلهة إلها واحدا قال: فوالله ما دنا منا أحد إلا أبو بكر يضرب هذا ويجبأ هذا ويتلتل هذا وهو يقول ويلكم أتقتلون رجلا أن يقول ربي الله ثم رفع على بردة كانت عليه فبكى حتى اخضلت لحيته ثم قال أنشدكم الله أمؤمن آل فرعون خير أم أبو بكر فسكت القوم فقال ألا تجيبونني فوالله لساعة من أبي بكر خير من ألف ساعة من مثل مؤمن آل فرعون ذاك رجل يكتم إيمانه وهذا رجل أعلن إيمانه. أخرجه البزار في مسنده

This might not be a full article and I do not intend writing soon, but upon reading this narration from Musnad al-Bazzār, my heart yearned to share it with others. I intended writing that may Allāh accept the personality described here, but then thought, who am I to think that my supplication of acceptance is needed for one so already accepted? So in following the way of the pious and learned, I can at least say, “May Allāh be pleased with him.”

ʿAlī رضي الله عنه  asked, “Tell me, who is the bravest of people?”

 “You!” they replied. 

He said, “As for me, I never fought anyone except that I exacted justice from him. Tell me, who is the bravest of people?” 

They replied, “Then we do not know who.” 

 He said, “It is ʾAbū Bakr. At the Battle of Badr, you built a hut for Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه وسلم  . We then said, ‘Who will be with Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه وسلم  so that no Mushrik may attack him?’ By Allāh! Not one of us stepped forward except ʾAbū Bakr with his sword drawn by the head of Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه وسلم . None came to attack except that he attacked him. So he is the bravest of people.”

ʾAlī رضي الله عنه  continued, “Indeed I saw the Quraysh grabbing Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه وسلم . One held him while another violently shook him. They were saying, ‘You are the one who made the gods one!’ By Allāh! None of us dared go near except Abū Bakr. He struck at one of them, pulled back another and shook another, whilst saying, ‘Woe unto you! Do you kill a man for saying my Lord is Allāh?’”

ʿAlī رضي الله عنه  then raised the shawl which was upon him and wept until his beard became wet. He then said, “I implore you in Allāh’s name, tell me, is the believer of the people of Pharaoh better or is Abū Bakr?”

The people kept silent, so he said, “Will you not answer me? By Allāh! A single moment of Abū Bakr is superior to a thousand of the likes of the believer of the people of Pharaoh. That was a man who hid his faith and this is a man who publicly announced his faith.” 

سليمان الكندي 
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Why I Boycott without believing in BDS

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in South Africa is currently engaged in a very energetic boycott campaign against Woolworths. I am not a supporter of the economic boycott, and harbour reservations about it. Nevertheless I have not bought a single item from Woolworths since the call was made. In particular I am suffering withdrawal symptoms from no longer drinking Woolworths milk… So do I have double standards or am I confused? I do not think either applies here. Acting contrary to one’s opinion is not the same as abandoning a principle. I shall seek to explain some of my reservations, but why I nevertheless heed the call.

The Racism of Palestinian Activism

To deny the importance of Palestine is to deny the Qurān and Ḥadīth. There are no two ways about it. Yet I am terribly disturbed how the blood of some Muslims is in effect regarded as less sacred than that of others. While Ghazzah was attacked during the Ramaḍān of 1435, Muslims were slaughtered in Central African Republic in far greater numbers. There were no calls for boycotts and no marches on embassies. The brutal fact is that Africa does not have the glamour of Palestine and still too many Muslims have less value for those of black skin. The very least one can expect from Muslim activists is a declaration that Palestine is being focussed on for strategic reasons, but our hearts are also with the other oppressed Muslims. Yet it seems that Africans, Kashmiris, Burmese, Uighurs and so many others do not deserve even such a modicum of respect.

Transforming Palestine into a secular idol

I accept that this heading is provocative and requires thorough explanation. If Allāh wills, I shall write separately on this and explain myself. For now, any act devoid of Allāh is not Islām. There are those who tout the economic benefits of Zakāh; the political dividend of Ḥajj, etc. without a mention of Allāh. Whatever secondary benefits may exist in a deed, the primary focus is the command of Allāh and drawing closer to Him. Removing Allāh from the equation secularises an outwardly Islāmic act, and so does Palestine become an idol to many.

Allāh’s Messenger cancelled sanctions

I find it incredibly dishonest of some who use the example of Thumāmah bin Uthāl رضي الله عنه as religious proof for a boycott, when the reverse should be true. Thumāmah رضي الله عنه was an ardent enemy of Islām and the chief of Banū Ḥanīfah, the main suppliers of wheat to Makkah. Upon his acceptance of Islām he banned exports to Makkah which was already suffering from a famine. The idolaters begged for mercy. They could have been starved into submission, but Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . ordered Thumāmah رضي الله عنه to cease sanctions against Makkah. So how do people clutch at straws and derive legal justification from a cancelled act?

Allāh’s Messenger’s politics and economics were proactive not reactive

When he entered al-Madīnah, the local Arabs were farmers and the Jews were traders. He established a new business district for the Muslims and instructed ‘Abduraḥmān bin Awf رضي الله عنه to teach the Arabs how to trade. In other words, Allāh’s Messneger صلى الله عليه وسلم taught the Muslims to be constructive, economically empowered and self-sufficient. Muslims today grab the other end of the stick. Jews control almost every aspect of economic activity in the world. Is there any processed food or manufactured item which can be guaranteed to be free of Jewish influence in terms of the ingredients and raw materials? (Most are not even aware that a flavouring can contain hundreds of ingredients in itself, let alone the other ingredients which can compose a food item.) The question is moot, for the Sunnah was not to boycott them but to establish the economy of the Muslims. There certainly are Muslim businessmen who empower the Ummah, but too often those with capital seek the quickest and easiest buck, or are princes who burn the Ummah’s wealth in the casinos and brothels of the west.

Liberation will only be with the sword

Palestine will only be liberated through war. That is clear from the Ḥadīth. Interim measures should remain in that context if we believe in the Ḥadīth. It seems to me that a focus on other methods distract from preparation for the real battle, however far off it may be. The two need not be contradictory, but interim measures should not become permanent, nor should sight on the ultimate goal be lost.

Legitimising partition?

I not comfortable with the position that atrocities, confiscations or other wrong doing is somehow worse if perpetrated in the West Bank as opposed to the land regarded as the “legitimate” Zionist state. Companies operating in the West Bank are somehow treated as if they are more evil than those assisting the Zionist terrorism elsewhere. To me this presents a problem in the long term, because if we agree with such a position, it tacitly confirms us as recognising the 1948 Usurpation and limiting our “disagreement” to only the rest of Palestine. All of Palestine has been usurped, and all must be liberated, whether the 1948 lands or the 1967 lands.

Targeting a fashionable and glamorous enemy

It is fashionable and glamorous to attack the Zionist entity. Whoever does so, is lauded as a good and heroic Muslim/ Socialist/ humanitarian etc, depending on who the audience is. Yet almost every Muslim organisation, government, leader and scholar remains unconscionably silent on the Saudi-Sisi axis laying siege to Ghazzah to the South. Whoever criticizes this axis is not lauded as a hero. Such a person is an unhinged radical who is in fact a traitor to the glorious Palestinian cause. Never mind that Ghazzah can have access to the world if a supposedly Muslim country no longer assists the Zionists in their siege. Never mind the billions the CIA lackeys of the House of Saud spend to prop up Pharaoh Sisi. For too long have the Muslims been complicit in allowing a Dajjāl-like regime to rule Makkah. However important Palestine or other issues might be, it makes no sense to at all to target our focus on the bleeding limbs of Islām, when the head of Islām is ruled by such a satanic regime.

So why have I heeded the boycott call?

The above arguments are my interpretation. Too many today act as if their personal interpretation is divine revelation and tolerate no dissent. Two years ago I was sorely disappointed when a scholar of oceans of knowledge, whose drop I cannot equal, mentioned during a presentation on differences of opinion, that scholars who differed with him on a particular issue will end up on the garbage dump of history… “…where they belong”! Let me point out again, that his topic was “Differences of opinion”.
I pray that I never attain such levels of arrogance and dogmatism. In this issue of boycott, a body of Muslims have made a decision on a certain tactic and method of engaging the enemy. I disagree. Yet I shall put all my arguments aside for the sake of a united front, concerted action and joining those who at least are doing something. Most importantly, this is an opportunity to save my soul from joining those who equate their personal views to the decree of Allāh.

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi