This Friday, take a minute and listen to the words of Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi who addresses the Ulema and our leaders across the Muslim world. This comes of the back of last month’s powerful khutba, wherein the Shaykh stated that “Political Authority and Religion are Kin Brothers”
In his breathtaking and courageous speech Sh. Muhammad al-Yaqoubi must be congratulated and applauded and other Ulema must take note. They need to stand up and start emulating him. Until the pulpits and mosques do not reverberate and the hearts of the believers do not resonate with the power of words like his, the Muslim masses will remain oppressed and the Muslim leaders given free will to continue their tyrannous rule.
“Every person knows what is happening to the Muslims these days, we are all witnessing the unjust killing of civilians every morning and evening whilst meeting friends and family and hear of the killings here and mischief there…an image no one who loves shaam and its people could ever imagine would emerge.
The silence of all people can be accepted but the the ulema and preachers are not excused, they must speak out against wrong…it is the right of Allah…the preachers on mimbars must speak out about the rights of people and must not hide them.
We reached this stage due to the silence of the ulema, they do not speak due to the fear they will be tasked and investigated…in the last few weeks, the government has asked ulema to abstain from speaking about political issues on the pulpits but this matter is not a political one, it is a religious one…the scholars are banned from addressing the real concerns of the people of shaam since my first experience as a khateeb in 1977…had the ulema addressed these issues openly in their khutbas, people would not have walked out on to the streets demanding their rights today themselves…ulema could have relayed the peoples concerns to the government even if that involves positive criticism.
We want the fitna, that is spreading, to stop…we condemn killing of innocent people whether they are police or army members or the general public … Jihad is to be made with the tongue. We condemn lifting weapons for our rights as jihad with the weapon is only permitted under a sultan. We condemn the killing of hundreds of protesters. We condemn every torture and dishonour of humans. Our people here want freedom of speech to ask for their rights which they see others around them in the Arab world having.
Our lands have had problems for the last 30 years. The last 10 years, our people have witnessed the failure of our country, the loss of our business and economical progress, appointment of the wrong unfitting people to senior governmental posts…these are internal long term problems that have urged the people to seek their rights…our people want democracy, but not democracy defined by the united nations, our people want freedom, but not that defined by the united nations…
The problems of the previous years can be solved by the people of this country and its government. The problem of poverty can be solved by increasing peoples salary. The problem of unemployment can be overcome by increasing the opportunities for work. The problem of the freedom of speech can be solved by permitting the ulema to speak. The crisis [of killing] today cannot reach any solution. A poor person can be pleased through better provision, a wronged person can be pleased by releasing his relative from prison but how is that father to be pleased whose son has been killed? Or that military person who has been shot? Or the protesters who are treated with bullets in the hospitals? People have hoped for solutions and amendments over the years but things have come to a severe point.
We meet people on the streets from various cities speaking about their friends and relatives being killed in various parts of the country, what do we say to them? The current situation requires a swift and speedy revision and redress and needs the president to emerge in public with powerful political resolutions to retract from the previous slips…if news in the media is incorrect, why is the government silent? When we hear of the discord, we, being humans are hurt and angered. Our feelings are the same. We do not provoke people to go out onto the streets causing disharmony on the streets… protests need to be organised in order to be effective.
We want our lectures/messages to reach the president and interior ministry.
We have seen sincerity and good will in the president and this is what we want and thank him for, we do not want strife. We want rectifications to continue and for him to rectify the ground problems that have brought a decline, for which reason people took to the streets. People cannot be stopped from coming out to the streets regardless of what the laws stipulate. I ask the military personnel and security forces to treat people with respect even if they are out there without permission.
Every human possesses freedom and deserves honour. Such people do not deserve beating, wounds and attacks. We live in an information age which the president himself supports. Why does the government not publish names of all prisoners held in the Syrian prisons on the internet or in the local papers just as the names of students who pass secondary school are listed and mentioned so that every relative can finally know where his family member is held?
The first step is to release all unjustly captured prisoners…I have not slept all night pondering about all those people thinking of what is required of me to help them and what I can say to help them today… We want the president to come up with the solutions.
We want all operational activities against non-combatant peaceful citizens, in our streets to cease and for all security forces to leave the public. We want the government to allow people who were deported from this country over the years to return peacefully regardless of their religious attachments, everyone must be treated as a citizen of this country. We want peaceful negotiations and discourse with the tongue, not weapons, using the Word of Allah and the Noble Sunnah.”
Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi
Jami’ al-Hasan Masjid, Abu Remaneh, Damascus, Syria
6th May 2011
This is a brief summary of the videos above, the full translation, is still pending and will be updated in due course.