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Khutba. Asr 15/09/23

Travel through the earth

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ انظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ


Say: “Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth!”

History reveals that in Islam’s darkest times, this religion was safeguarded through beacons of light in the form of righteous individuals who upheld the true Islam. Adhering to the Sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ, they opposed injustice.

They stood as pillars with their qualities of sacrifice, unflinching faith, morality, spiritual excellence, and intellect. We find that despite the attacks Muslims have faced, the Ummah always persevered and continued. By the will of Allah, it will continue to do so, as long as individuals, each one of us,  hold fast to our Deen and follow the examples of those who suffered and triumphed before.

Alhamdu Lillah, the opportunity arose whereby a conference on the Campaign on the Right of Return to Palestine took place in Iraq.The conference was attended by delegates from over 60 countries, including Palestinians who were imprisoned, on hunger strikes in Israeli jails, mothers whose children were incarcerated for 32 years, and activists on the ground.

I will talk about the situation in Palestine another time.

It is my experience to Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf and then Istanbul, Turkey, on the way back that I need to share.

In Baghdad, famous for the hanging gardens of Babylon, and the glorious Islamic history under the Abbasid Khalifate, houses the tombs of Imam Abu Hanifa and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani; Imam Hussein and Abbas in Karbala, and Hazrat Ali in Najaf. May Allah be pleased with them.



The Abbasid Caliphate emerged from the defeat and collapse of the Umayyad Dynasty in 750 CE. Its reign saw numerous great achievements that sent Islamic civilization to its golden age.

It adopted policies that allowed the development of a strong military, good education, faith and encouraged the proliferation of trade relations with other major powers. Gunpowder was also an element brought from China, and scholars from the Abbasid era managed to develop the first formulas for explosions. Thus, Baghdad became a major trade center that attracted merchants from as far as Western Europe, China, and the African Horn.

Abbasid rule also saw the emergence of great intellectuals such as Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, and Ibni Sina. These same philosophers contributed greatly to other fields, such as medicine, mathematics, physics, and chemistry, architecture, astronomy and literature, irrigation and navigation technology, and became part of the The Silk Road was the network of trade routes that linked China to Europe.

Their research were used by Western intellectuals and contributed to the European Renaissance in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.

During the reign of Caliph Al-Mansur in the 8th century, a great library was constructed in the middle of Baghdad. This library, known as the Baghdad House of Wisdom, continued to be developed and enriched with books and scholarly works until the late 9th century.

The khilafate had some weak leaders but considered the honor of a Muslim as paramount.

Once a Muslim woman was being teased by Jews in the Jewish quarter of what was then Byzantium bordering the Muslim empire. This incident in the time of the Abbasid Khaleefa Al Mutasim. They pulled at her hijab and mocked her in a most ignoble manner.

She cried and wrote to the Caliph addressing him in her letter, “Ya Mu’tasimah!” (an emotional plea) and told him of what had happened. When the Caliph heard of this news, he was so outraged he dropped the cup of water he was drinking.

Immediately, Caliph Mu’tasim wrote back to the Roman Emperor of Byzantium, saying:

I have an army of men that stretch from where I stand (Baghdad) to where you stand (Constantinople), who love to fight and die as much as your men love to live.”

An incident took place recently in Occupied Palestine when women were forced to remove their clothes by the Zionist occupiers. They simply scoffed at the reaction of the Muslim outrage, well aware that there is no real Muslim threat to Zionists.

Today, Baghdad is in ruins. It has a US embassy compound larger than the Vatican in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the world’s largest embassy, that dominates the country and region. The lack of development from the invasion and shock and awe bombings, equivalent to 6 Hiroshimas, is clearly visible.

I visited the mausoleum of sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani,  a renowned Islamic scholar and spiritual leader from the 11th century, renowned for his moral excellence. He was modest, humble and unpretentious.

Following is an account about him reflecting his unwavering trust in God and his consciousness about his intentions and feelings about all actions.

One day he was teaching his students when a messenger came to tell him that one of his ships loaded with merchandise that recently set sail had sunk.

On hearing this, Abdul Qadir was quiet and, after some contemplation, said, “Alhamdulillah,” and started teaching again. His students were amazed that even after hearing about such a devastating financial loss, Abdul Qadir has such trust in Allah.

After a while, the messenger came back to Abdul Qadir’s class and told him that the message about his ship sinking was in error and his ship had not sunk. On hearing this, Abdul Qadir was quiet again and, after some contemplation, said, “Alhamdulillah,” and started teaching.

Again his students were impressed with the attitude of their teacher. But they didn’t want to leave any incident to their own understanding. So they asked Abdul Qadir what was going through his mind before he said “Alhamdulillah,“ when he was contemplating the first time and second time.

Abdul Qadir Jilani explained that the first time he received the news that his ship had sunk, he searched within his heart to see if there was any sadness. When he was completely convinced that there was no sadness for the loss of the merchandise, for that, he said Alhamdulillah.

The second time when he received the news that his ship did not sink he searched within his heart to see if there was any happiness. When he was completely convinced that there was no happiness for not losing the merchandise, for that, he said Alhamdulillah.

It is only natural that the aspect of material loss or gain can make a person sad or happy. Believers can eventually be resolved to the fact that loss or gain is God’s will.

This unparalleled example shows us that Abdul Qadir Jilani was not thinking of the material loss or gain. He was more concerned about his heart. To perfect our God-consciousness, we need to continually evaluate our intentions and feelings. Only that can guide us towards sincere faith and submission to Allah the Almighty.

Imam Abu Hanifa, The founder of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, was a great faqih and scholar. He was born in the year AH 80(RH) supported the uprising of Zayd ibn Ali (RH). He began a revolt against the Caliph Hisham Abdul Malik in the year 121 AH. Imam Abu Hanifa (RH) supported him financially. In response, one of the governors of Kufa attempted to keep Imam Abu Hanifa (RH) loyal to the Umayyads by appointing the Imam as treasurer or the chief judge.

Imam Abu Hanifa (RH) denied the appointment and was imprisoned and tortured. He was released with the ultimatum that he would either take the position or be subjected to another bout of torture. Therefore, Imam Abu Hanifa (RH) fled to Makkah, and it was this time in the Hijaz that the two great Imams, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik (RH) met one another.

Another governor would succeed Abu Abbas al-Safaa named Abu Jafar al-Mansur. He was a paranoid leader who again offered Imam Abu Hanifa (RH) the chief justice position to keep him subservient to the government. After he declined, he was thrown into prison. He was excessively tortured and never cared for in prison. There are differences on whether he had succumbed to his wounds in prison or outside the prison and whether he was poisoned; nevertheless, he passed away at the age of 70 in the year 150 AH.


At Najaf lies the tomb of Hazrat Ali RA, and for many the starting point of the Arbaeen march.  Just one incident that I want to recount reflects his upright character.

A candle burnt by his side, as he sat down meticulously recording all the revenue and the expenses of the treasury.

Just then Talha and Zubair appeared.
They aspired to some positions of authority in Imam Ali’s (A.S.) rule and had come to strike a deal. If Imam Ali’s (A.S.) gave them a place of distinction, they would in turn pledge their full support. Imam Ali’s (A.S.) knew of this.
Just as they sat down, Imam Ali’s (A.S.) puts out the candle and lit another one.
Talha and Zubair exchanged a glance of surprise and then one of them said:
“O Ali, we have come on some important business. But why did you extinguish the first candle?” Imam Ali’s (A.S.) replied: “That was a candle bought of Treasury funds. As long as I worked for the Treasury, I used it. Now you have come for some personal work, so I use the candle bought of my personal fund.”
Talha and Zubair left him without saying another word.

Imam Hussein RA shrine is in Karbala. 

Muslims throughout the world commemorated Yaum al-Ashura (the Day of Ashura). On this day—coinciding with the 10th of Muharram—Imam Hussain (as) and his family members were martyred in the scorching heat of Karbala.

The Khalif had usurped power and demanded allegiance from everyone upon pain of death. Barring a few exceptions, most people succumbed to the Khalif’s threats. Imam Hussain (as) refused.

Usurpation of power would lead to injustice, That is why Imam Hussain took a stand and resisted such subversion. By opposing the deviation at the very beginning, Imam Hussain established the principle that such behaviour was unacceptable in Islam. It exacted a very high price in life and blood but the principle was firmly established.

While Karbala was an immense tragedy, Imam Hussain’s martyrdom was a triumph of truth over falsehood; of legitimacy over illegality. His sacrifice will continue to provide solace to those languishing in the torture chambers of the tyrants, whether in Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, zionist Israel or elsewhere.


A quick word about Arbaeen. About 25 million cover the distance of 82 kilometers, in scorching heat, men women and children, to commemorate the martyrdom of the ahlul bayt. 72 were martyred. The streets are lined with incredible generous people, giving food, water, shelter, medication and rest places, for free, and in absolute safety. It is a phenomenal sight.

As we witness the suffering of millions of Muslims we need to REFLECT on our weaknesses as an ummah, an ummah that has fallen into the trap of emphasizing our DIFFERENCES  instead of what is common amongst us, creating deep divisions that has led us to embrace and seek the protection of those very people killing innocent Muslim women and children.


The Uthmaniyyah/Ottoman empire lasted over 600 years, from the early 1300s until the aftermath of the first world war. Founded by Uthman Bey, a Turkish chieftain, the Ottoman Empire became a formidable political and military superpower during the sixteenth century under the wise and able stewardship of Sulaiman the Magnificent, the tenth ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

A period of steady expansion followed and the empire extended to 3 continents, over parts of the Middle East along the Red Sea, northern Africa, the Balkans and eastern Europe and up to the walls of the city of Vienna.

The Uthmaniyyah khalifate confronted more than 25 Crusades against the Islamic world and was always victorious. After his death it became a diminishing power in the 18th and 19th century.

Russia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Scotland, Luxembourg, Poland, and Bulgaria met by order of Pope (Boniface IX) to eliminate the Ottoman Empire.

Sultan Abdul Hamid said to the Jews: “Palestine is not the property of Sultan Abdul Hamid, but for all Muslims, so collect the signatures of the Muslims for me that they have given up Palestine in order for me to give up.”

In a subsequent letter from exile addressed to Shaykh Abu Shammat, Sultan Abdülhamid provided the reason for his removal from office: “I abandoned the Islamic Caliphate for one reason and one reason only which I now set forth: because I did not accept the establishment by the Jews of a national homeland in Palestine”.

The last Khalifa, Sultan Abdul Hamid, paid with his throne as a price for sticking to Palestine and not handing it over to the Jews.

The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923  led to The abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate – and the exile of the Sultan and his family outside Turkey.

But Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder as a nation state and first leader, wanted to make a radical break from the Uthmaniyyah heritage. He moved the capital of the new state from Constantinople to Ankara and initiated a series of rapid reforms such as the change of the alphabet and the abolition of the Khalifate.

The main of the agreement is recognising the new border, abolishment of the Khalifate, and formation of the Turkey Republic, Syria under French and Egypt, Sudan, Iraq and Palestine under the British, and the straits between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea which the Bosphorus Straits are declared as civilian passage and open to all shipping and Turkiye are restricted to not conducting any drilling for oil and gas activities.

With any international agreement in the world, it lasts only for 100 years.

This year, 2023, With the expiration of the treaty after 100 years, Turkiye will be able to conduct oil and gas activities such as drilling in the Black Sea, which Turkiye estimated the Black Sea holds 10 billion barrels of crude oil and 2 trillion cubic metrics of natural gas, collecting fees and taxes from passing ships through the Bosphorus Straits, and creating a new channel for passing vessels – in this case, the Istanbul Canal, Erdogan able to reclaim the island in the Aegean Sea.

Booming economic prosperity awaits Turkiye in 2023, the energy sector where Turkiye would no longer depend on Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. With economic prosperity, Turkiye can rise as the region’s most influential and influencing country. Will The rise of the new Turkiye bring another dimension and more dynamic geopolitics, especially regarding Islam?

That Muslim weakness allowed the West to pounce, it is equally important to appreciate the difference between the weakness of the state, due to actions of the Muslims themselves, and the destruction of the state, a result purely of actions by enemy states.


The real reason the Quran mentions the past stories of Messengers and events is to learn lessons from them.

The Quran mentions that their stories provide universal evidence of the rise and fall of nations; that their stories provide evidence of battle between THE TRUTH (Al-Haq – الحق) and FALSEHOOD (Baatil – باطل).

The struggle between THE TRUTH (Al-Haq – الحق) and FALSEHOOD (Baatil – باطل) has been going on throughout human history and will continue until eternity.

The evil trio – the new Pharaohs (politicians), the new Hamans (priests), the new Qaroons (capitalists)– has divided the Ummah into different antagonistic religious sects, into rich and poor, into different ethnicities, nationalities, races and tribes which are clearly against the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).

The Quran has described the result of past nations as cause-and-effects analysis.

It says that whatever happened to those nations, it wasn’t based on chance. Whatever the result happened, it was due to actions they carried out; and the result happened according to Allah’s Law of Requital. The life and death of nations, whether, the Umayyad’s, Abbasids, Fatimids, or Uthmaniyyah empires, happen according to whether or not they were following the right path as given in the Quran.

Lessons have to be learned from that history so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes that some civilizations had committed when they took care of their material welfare and basically ignored the moral side of their societies.

Civilizations rose when they were faithful to Allah, and their morals, and built their civilization based on that.

In the Islamic history,  heroes are defined as those who put their lives in danger to support the truth, to bring back the principles of Islam.

And following the example of Hazrat Ali, Hussein, Abbas,  Abu Hanifa, Sheikh Jilani, who gave their lives in defense of the truth that they stood for. Many of them actually lost their lives by assassination because they stood for the values and principles of Islam. That is how history is made according to the Quran.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. The incredible faith and courage from many of the participants I witnessed at the Palestinian conference offer a glimmer of hope that the resistance movements have taken the guidance of the Quran in their quest for justice. And victory for those who persevere in Allah’s path for justice is certain.

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ

5 : 56 And whoso takes for his allies Allâh and His Messenger and those who believe, (let him know that surely such a one is the party of Allâh) and it is the party of Allâh that is truly triumphant.


Dr Firoz  Osman


Cell +27823376976