Here is a public call to all Muslims all over the world: Start a Revolution in Your Own Backyard!
Muslims can do that by revolutionizing the way the Jum'ah Khutbah is done in their “neighborhood” mosques.
Change it from what it has become, a static exercise and lifeless ritual full of empty platitudes, to what, by right, it should and ought to be: a most vibrant and powerful Divine instrument in human hands of social transformation and comprehensive universal education throughout the world.
And so far as Muslims are concerned, all mosques are “neighborhood” mosques, no matter how far or close they may be located from their homes.
In Islam, a revolution is not achieved by rabid killing of innocent people or wanton destruction of public or private property.
Islamic revolutions aim at transformation of human hearts, minds and souls. They seek to change People’s lives in ways that are beneficial to all man and beast, as they say, in all parts of the world.
And Islamic Revolutions are achieved through peace and love. And they are brought about, when and as Allah wills and guides them, through gentle and persistent persuasion, and through torrential forgiveness and unending acts of service, mercy and compassion.
But right now, at least to me this morning, the challenge seems to be:
How Do We Get People to Read – and to Listen?
Earlier, I was on www.IslamicSolutions.Com and I was reading the article "Jum'ah Khutbah."
After reading it, I became quite sad. I kept asking myself: How do we get People to read it?
And when I say “People,” I mean everyone, everywhere, beginning with Muslims, but not stopping with them.
Not in search of name, fame or wealth, for myself, but purely to have an opportunity to reach the inner rationality and decency of People – both Muslim and non-Muslim – about the critical role Jum'ah Khutbah came down from heaven to play in their lives.
How often, and how long, have I cried tears of blood at the way Muslims around the world have used, disused and abused the Jum'ah Khutbah all these past years – and decades.
What is heartbreaking is that no one raises it as an issue. And no one ever makes it a subject of serious conversation, except maybe to attack this or that Khatib who may be, for one reason or another, out of favor with them.
No conferences, to my knowledge, are ever held to address that issue. Nor am I aware – in my very limited knowledge – of books and articles that may have been written dealing with the urgency of Jum'ah Khutbah in the lives of contemporary Muslims.
And, highlighting and underscoring the role of Jum'ah Khutbah as a key plank in humanity’s ongoing struggle to make this world a better place for all.
What is obvious is that Jum'ah Khutbah is dead – and dying – and Muslims are coddling the corpse without quite knowing how to handle it or what to do with it.
They cannot bury it, because it is protected by God in the Qur’an with an iron-clad divine guarantee.
And they cannot revive it, because they do not know how to do it.
And also because there are all kinds of powerful forces active and working, right in their midst as well as around and outside of them, not to let that happen.
So far as protecting the Jum'ah Khutbah is concerned, God Almighty says in the Qur’an:
Innaa Nahnu Nzzalnadh Dhikra wa Innaa Lhu La-Haafizwoon.
“Surely, we sent down the Dhikr and, surely, we shall be protecting it.”
The divine expression Dhikr refers to the Qur’an – and to all things directly or indirectly connected to the Qur’an.
And the Jum'ah Khutbah is right at the heart of that Dhikr, as the Qur’an itself makes it clear.
There is an entire chapter in the Qur’an called “Friday: Al-Jum'ah,” while no chapter of the Qur’an is called “Monday” or “Wednesday.” Just as there is also no chapter in the Qur’an called “Hijrat” or the month of “Safar” or “Sha’aban.”
But there is this chapter, no one can miss, that calls itself Surat Al-Jum'ah.
And that chapter makes it crystal clear to the Believers to drop everything and “run” to Allah’s Dhikr the moment they hear the Call for Swalaat on the Day of Jum'ah – Yaumil Jum'ah.
The Adhaan, that is.
The Qur’an calls out to the Believers and says:
“Yaa Ayyuhalladheena Aamanoo!”
And then the Qur’an commands them – yes, that is what the Qur’an does: It commands the Believers – to leave whatever business- and life-activities they may be engaged in at that time and rush to join Allah’s Dhikr.
“Run” – Fas’awu – is Qur’an’s choice of words, not mine.
That should give Muslims a little bit of a perspective on the role of Jum'ah Khutbah in their lives – and in the life of the whole world.
It should make abundantly clear to them that, in the eyes of their Maker and Master, God Almighty, Jum'ah Khutbah – which is clearly part of Jum'ah Swalaah or Prayers – is more important than everything else in their life.
So, what should Muslims do?
My respectful suggestion to them: Start a Revolution!
By that I mean, work immediately, and without ifs and buts, to revolutionize the way Jum'ah Khutbah is done in your neighborhood mosque.
And if the Movers and Shakers in your “neighborhood” mosque will not allow you to do that, as in many cases they are likely to, move on to the next mosque, and from there to the next mosque.
And so on – until you have covered the entire globe: every single mosque in every single part of the globe.
And remember, so far as you are concerned, and so far as your God is concerned, the Whole World is Your Neighborhood.
So, from the simple task of getting People – both Muslim and non-Muslim – to read our writings, especially the write-up on Jum'ah Khutbah, and listening to Pasha Hour International – Live from America! live or on tape, to the more serious and seemingly daunting challenge of getting Muslims in all parts of the world to revolutionize the Jum'ah Khutbah in their “neighborhood” mosques, that remains my own personal challenge.
And I suspect, it is also the unrecognized and unaddressed challenge of all caring and concerned Muslims everywhere.
So, to Muslims of the world I say: A bit of Revolution, anyone?