Excerpts from the Friday Prayer with Imam Afeef Khan on 6/28/19 titled: "Lobbying: Democratic Cover For Bribery":
"This is the 188th Ayah of Suratul Bakara. It happens to be the last Ayah in the section of Ayat pertaining to Ramadan and it has not been even a month yet that we have been out of Ramadan and so the lessons that we may have learned in Ramadan, the will power that we may have built aught to be still fresh in our minds and it aught to make us keen to be able to have a resolve and a determination to direct the world into a situation where it is in greater conformity to the command and the counsel of Allah. The key lesson of course to have been learned in Ramadan is to develop Taqwa. And Jumaa also is a day of Taqwa. And Taqwa should be understood to be that means of conveyance that drives a personal morality into a social conscience. And so when we characterize Taqwa as a means of conveyance, do we mean that it is an automobile, or a bus, or an airplane or perhaps that means could be construde as a university education or street smarts or perhaps corporate experience but obviously none of these things characterize the meaning of the word Taqwa. Taqwa is the consciousness, the protection that a Muslim gains against Allah's corrective justice, His corrective power when he engages in activities that are perhaps counter to what Allah hu ta' alla had recommended in His guidance."
"A rough translation of the Ayat referring the meanings of the words to Al latheena amanu so Allah ta 'alla is commanding them: Do not take your common wealth and present it in a corrupt fashion to those who are in positions of rule and decision making such that those people convert your common wealth into a mechanism that consumes popular wealth and do not do this while you are cognizant of what is happening. And so the words of the Ayat begin Wa la ta' quluhu....literally they mean, Do not eat your wealth. And so keep in mind that in the month of Ramadan, we obstain from eating food and we part with liquids and that abstention from eating food in the sense of personal morality extends into the social sphere of eating that which people consume without having any discipline which is wealth and so Allah hu ta alla is saying do not eat, in a literal sense, your common wealth, or do not digest your common wealth in a way that you reproduce it to present it to people in power. And so why do we bring up these Ayat? One of the human activities in our world today that falls under the pervue of this Ayah meaning that the words of this Ayat describe this activity; one of these activities is called "LOBBYING" where people in a institutional sense, in a structural sense present large amounts of money and assets to people in power with a view to influencing the decisions of government in favor of a special interest or vested interests and obviously the Ayat is telling us that you know if you conform to Allah's guidance, His command that you are not allowed to engage in such activity and this applies to even those Muslims who look at so called Democratic societies and they see a certain pathway to power and they say that, Ok we see this certain pathway to power and we want a similar kind of power so why don't we follow the same design that they follow in order to get their power; Why don't we follow the same path; Why don't we take the same route. Why don't we engage in the same activities so that we have commanding power to influence the decisions of government, and yet this Ayat is telling us that we can't engage in that kind of activity. And of course if we were paying attention in Ramadan and we applied our minds which are free of the consumption of food, and liquids, and intimate behavior with our significant others; when we are free of those things and we apply our minds to these Ayat, we would understand that our path to power is according to the methodology and the approach and the procedure of Muhammad (SAW) and not those other people that we don't consider to be teachers. The means and the ends in our case both have to be halal. They both have to be sanguine. And so my approach in talking about lobbying is not going to be in a theoretical sense. I'm not going to talk about how it is affirmed by the first amendment to the US Constitution and that lobbying activity contributes to a healthy debate and that if we have advocates on both sides, that the best policy emerges. I'm not going to talk about it from that point of view. It is clear enough that people aught not contribute their common wealth to people in positions of rule. That's clear enough. The words of the Ayah are clear and so there's no need to talk about theoretics in that regard. I'm going to talk about lobbying in terms of something that's real. Something that's affecting us everyday. Something that's not only affecting our finances but it's affecting our lives in terms of whether we live or not so I'm going to try to talk about lobbying within the context of the situation in Yemen to try to drive it home in sort of a very visceral sense so that we feel it on the inside."
"Yemen is the 5th poorest nation on Earth and by far, it is the poorest Arab nation. And defense contractors right here in the United States have been making a killing on the war that's been going on there for the past five years, and they've been making a killing both literally and figuratively. That war was started officially in 2015 and those who started that war in the UAE (in the United Arab Emirates) and in Saudi Arabia, they declared that they were going to war right here in Washington. Like, if you're a country that's getting ready to go to war, do you go to some other capital, to some other part of the world and declare to your people that you're going to war? Why they have to come all the way to Washington to declare that they're going to war against Yemen? Obviously, there's some kind of connection. And over the past, it's been a good 16 months now, the Yemeni Ansarullah movement has been striking back and in a sense, they've bought the entire war to a stand still. But nontheless over these past 5 years, according to some estimates, 90,000 people, civilians have been killed. And we think that these estimates are low. It's probably that 3/5 rule that use to apply here for voting of African Americans back in the 1800's, that for every 5 that are killed, we count 3 and so it's probably a lot more than 90,000, but nonetheless, we'll go by some of these figures that are floating around in the internet universe. There are now 131,000...No. There are now over 1 million cases of cholera in Yemen. And cholera as you might know is a disease that affects the small intestine. It's a bacterial disease that is transmitted by contaminated standing water..."
Imam Afeef Khan, "Lobbying: Democratic Cover For Bribery" Friday prayer 6-28-2019
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