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In yesterday’s weekly gathering of Ihya, Shaykh Saqib Iqbal delivered a comprehensive lecture revolving around the geopolitical and theological events relating to Bayt al Maqdis and the events leading up to the end times, including the coming of Imam Mahdi RadiAllahuan, the emergence of the Dajjal (antichrist), the return of Sayyiduna Isa Alayhisalam, the great war commonly known as the Armageddon and the Biblical and Judaic narratives surrounding these events as well as the terminology and ideologies of the Jews relating to them that bare similarity with concepts found in orthodox Sunni Islam. The establishment of the Muslim caliphate, the rights of non-Muslims in the caliphate and the requirements to become the Caliph as outlined by the traditional Islamic jurists, especially focusing on the conditions mentioned by Imam Ahmad Rida (Alayhirrahmah) was also discussed.

Giving particular importance to the subject of Bayt al Maqdis and its inhabitants, the Shaykh thought-provokingly narrated Ahadith of RasoolAllah ο·Ί from Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmad and other books of Hadith, mentioning At-Taifa Al-Mansoorah, the supported body of Muslims that will remain in the Ummah of RasoolAllah ο·Ί till the end times even though they may be neglected, forgotten, and unsupported by the Muslim world. According to one narrative, this group of Muslims will be at the doors of Bayt al Maqdis and in another narration its vacinity, inside it and its surrounding areas and they will continue to fight for the truth, and nothing will affect them even if the world opposes or abandons them. The Shaykh explained that this is what we have witnessed lately when the people of Bayt al Maqdis were not supported by the armies of Pakistan, Turkey or any other Muslim country who has abandoned them and did not help them, yet they continued to strive for their cause as foretold by RasoolAllah ο·Ί. This is the exact description given by RasoolAllah ο·Ί regarding this body of Muslims belonging to Bayt al Maqdis.

Shaykh Saqib Iqbal presented the opinions of five reputable orthodox scholars relating to this narration, namely Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Imam Bukhari, Imam Nawawi, Imam Ibn Hajr Asqalani and Ibn Battal (Alayhimurrahmah) as he went onto present the taαΉ­bΔ«q, synthesisation of multiple Ahadith, to show an unequivocal, authentic, and reliable viewpoint. Unfortunately, justice cannot be done in trying to summarise how the Shaykh presented this explanation but all those present in the gathering surely benefitted from it greatly.

Moving on, the Shaykh talked about the events leading up to the coming of Imam Mahdi and the events that will transpire soon afterwards including the great war which can also be termed as the Armageddon and the possibility of the modern world going back to the dark ages because of the potential use of nuclear and/or chemical weapons during this catastrophic world war. The Shaykh went onto to discuss the conquest of Constantinople which will take place after this world war on horseback and with swords and will be conquered at the hands of the Bani Ishaaq who will be Jewish reverts to Islam and who will be serving under Imam Mahdi RadiAllahuanh. According to one position the Bani Ismael are mentioned instead of the Bani Ishaaq. The mountain of gold revealing itself after the drying up of the Euphrates river and the war for it was also mentioned as the Shaykh showed how the Christian tradition also believes in the same events transpiring.

Shaykh Saqib Iqbal then interestingly went on to discuss the Biblical and Judaic contexts around the appearance of the antichrist by mentioning the wars, events, and specific rituals such as the Tum’at HaMet which is the sacrifice of Parah Adumah, the red cow for the Jews to enter Temple Mount. The Shaykh continued in his discussion as he talked about the establishment of the third temple of Solomon and how the Jews are striving for it and the various views of the Jews regarding the third construction of Solomon. One understanding of the orthodox Jews is that the Messiah will come to build the temple himself, whilst others believe that the Jews must build the temple first then the Messiah will come whereas one understanding is that the temple will descend from the heavens. Some contemporary Jewish scholars have combined these various positions and stated the Jews should strive in the building of the temple which will be completed by the Messiah, after which adornments and beautifications will descend from heaven to show divine blessings and support which is their metaphorical interpretation of the heavenly descent of the temple.

In addition to religious, historical, and political viewpoints, the Shaykh also discussed how the terminology and words of the Jews share similarity with our Islamic tradition. Words such as Beit HaMikdash is like the Islamic Bayt al Maqdis, Zabach (which in Hebrew means to slaughter) is similar to the Arabic word Zabh. Mizbeach (the place of sacrifice in Hebrew, the alter) is called Mazbah in Islam. Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for charity and is the equivalent of Sadaqah in Arabic. Mashiach (messiah) is the same as Meseeh in Islam. Tahara which means ritual purity is the same as its Islamic counterpart and Korban is the same as the Islamic Qurban, meaning sacrificing to gain the Qurb (closeness) of Allah Almighty.

Carrying on with the lecture, the Shaykh talked in detail about the Islamic concept of Khilafah and the necessity of its establishment in Muslim majority countries. In addition to this, the laws pertaining to the numerous rights given to non-Muslims within the caliphate were mentioned in the discourse which have unfortunately been misconstrued by radical and extremist Muslims who have given the impression that all Islamic laws will be imposed on non-Muslims which is far from the truth. If non-Muslims were correctly educated about this, they would evidently have the opposite perception. Furthermore, a practical method was mentioned for how the modern Muslim world can unite under a caliphate in order to protect Muslims and their interests worldwide.

In relation to the Khilafah, the struggle of Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi (Alayhirrahmah) was remembered who strove to remove nationalism from the Muslim world and unite them under the single banner of Islam. The Shaykh directed our minds to take lessons from this great leader of the past and not to have high hopes of certain Muslim countries providing military or financial aid to the brave people of Bayt al Maqdis. The concept of Zionism, not only being a Jewish ideology, but also a Christian one as well as some so called Muslims who support zionism, was discussed as the Shaykh spoke about religious, philosophical, and political extremists within the world.

The Shaykhs lecture was full of concern and yearning for Al Quds Ashareef as all present in the gathering were reminded that because of our sins and our shortcomings, the people of Palestine are suffering and Bayt al Maqdis is in turmoil and pain. Rather than blaming others for the current state of the Ummah, we should blame ourselves and retrospectively ask ourselves what are we doing to save Palestine? Are we obedient to our Lord, are we praying our salah, giving zakat, giving up prohibited actions? The Shaykh powerfully said the Muslim Ummah is like one body, but not one family because you can cut off your family (albeit it is a grave sin to do so), but you cannot cut off your own bodily organs. The day we accept that our sins are the cause of the problems in Bayt al Maqdis and the Muslim Ummah, that is when we will begin to see a rise of the Ummah.

The Shaykh thanked the members of Kanz ul Huda who are present in Palestine for humanitarian services and all those who are providing aid to the Palestinians. We pray that Allah Almighty blesses Shaykh Saqib Iqbal and all the brothers and sisters of Kanz ul Huda with the ability to continue this Ihya, revival of our hearts, souls and minds and guides us and all of humanity towards the embodiment of the noble character and conduct of the Prophet Muhammad ο·Ί.

29/05/2021